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French Polynesia: very low environmental radioactivity in 2013, with no trace of Fukushima accident detected

IRSN issued its 2013 environmental radioactivity monitoring report for French Polynesia, which found a very low level of radioactivity and detected no trace of the Fukushima accident, either in the atmosphere or in the marine environment.


The results of radiological monitoring in the environment of the French Polynesia in 2013 demonstrate that, following regularly declining levels of radioactivity since the end of French atmospheric weapon testing in 1974, the radiological situation is stable and at a very low level, in line with previous years. The annual effective dose added by artificial and residual radioactivity – mainly due to cesium 137 – is less than 5 microsieverts per year, that is to say less than 0.5% of the dose associated with natural radiation in French Polynesia (approximately 1 millisievert per year). These levels are lower than those currently measured in the Northern hemisphere.

Measurements performed throughout the year in both seawater and fish confirm that there has been no impact from the Fukushima accident on the marine environment, water or food chain of French Polynesia.

For the first time, IRSN’s laboratory in French Polynesia, which has a number of ongoing relationships with regional scientific centers and public authorities, issued the report in the Tahitian language, an initiative that contributed to public awareness on this issue and was well received by local authorities and the media.

More information: IRSN report IRSN/PRP-ENV/SESURE 2014-19 « Bilan de la surveillance de la radioactivité en Polynésie française en 2013 » - In French, English abstract on page 4 (pdf)

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