Japan Earthquake: Radiation Dose Rates in Canada
Regulatory authorities in Canada and internationally are conducting regular radiation surveillance and monitoring activities.
Health Canada measures environmental radiation levels in Canada through a series of fixed point monitoring stations across the country. These monitors detect radiation levels in the environment which are typically at natural background levels.
The dose summaries from these detectors provide an indication of the amount of radiation in the vicinity of the detector, including both natural background radiation as well as radionuclides that may have been carried by the wind. The results are in microsieverts (μSv) per day. Natural background radiation varies from location to location in Canada but the national average is in the order of 1800 μSv per year.
Health Canada’s data does not show an increase over and above the normal day to day fluctuations. However, very minute levels of isotopes in the radiation have been attributed to the release in Japan. The actual increase in radiation measured is in the order of 0.0005 µSv per day, which is so small that it is extremely difficult to measure against normal background radiation.
- View Health Canada’s Radiation Data Tables for a summary of daily radiation doses in Canada.
For further information on radiological monitoring, refer to these Web sites:
- Radiological Monitoring at Canadian Nuclear Power Plants
- Types and Sources of Radiation
- Radiation Dose
- Health Effects of Radiation (including dose from common medical practices)
- Radioactive Release Data from Canadian Nuclear Power Plants 1999-2008 (PDF)
- Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines
- Canadian Radiological Monitoring Network
- Fixed Point Surveillance Network
- Exposure to Ionizing Radiation Fact Sheet
- Recommendations on Dose Coefficients for Assessing Doses From Accidental Radionuclide Releases to the Environment