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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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04/06/2009

Can radon gas measurements be used to predict earthquakes ?

After the tragic earthquake of April 6th 2009 in Aquila (Abruzzo), a debate has begun in Italy regarding the alleged prediction of this earthquake by a scientist working in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, based on radon content measurements. Radon is a radioactive gas originating from the decay of natural radioactive elements present in the soil.

IRSN specialists are actively involved in ongoing research projects on the impact of mechanical stresses on radon emissions from underground structures, and some of their results dating from several years ago are being brought up in this debate. These specialists are therefore currently presenting their perspective on the relationships between radon emissions and seismic activity, based on publications on the subject.

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