Radioactivity in Food and the Environment Report 2018

09 November 2021

Article: 55/4508

The latest Radioactivity in Food and the Environment Report (RIFE 26) was published on 4 November 2021 and shows that levels and concentrations of man-made radioactivity measured in the environment during 2020 were well within international dose limits.

The RIFE programme monitors the environment and the diet of people who live or work near nuclear sites. The annual RIFE report is a joint publication between all six agencies across the UK responsible for ensuring that doses from authorised releases of radioactivity remain within strict international limits, bringing together all results from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Environment Agency (EA), Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Natural Resources Wales (NRW), and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

In Scotland, SEPA is responsible for radiological monitoring that is carried out and has a duty to ensure that no member of the public receives a dose in excess of the statutory dose limit of one millisievert (1 mSv) per year from permitted discharges. Monitoring shows that the highest dose for a member of the public in Scotland reported in RIFE was approximately 3% of the legal limit at 0.027mSv. This compares to a UK average radiation exposure from all sources of 2.3mSv, of which 84% is due to natural background sources.

Radioactivity occurs naturally in the earth’s crust and it can be found in food, water and air. Exposure to man-made radioactivity includes medical procedures and treatments, and discharges from nuclear and non-nuclear establishments.

Source: SEPA, 4 November 2021