Key findingsThe key findings are:
- The total radiation dose to members of the public in the UK is significantly below the EU annual dose limit of 1 millisievert for all exposures.
- The exposure of consumers to radioactivity in 2014 was similar than in 2013 for the majority of nuclear sites.
- In 2014, the highest doses the public received were Sellafield (0.22mSv), Capenhurst (0.17mSv) and Amersham (0.14mSv), as opposed to last year when the location with the highest dose was Amersham (0.22mSv). The increase in the ranking of Sellafield compared to last year was established following a re-assessment of exposure pathways in 2014, including an observed increase in seafood consumption. The doses received around Amersham and Capenhurst are mainly result of direct radiation from sources on the sites.
- In 2014, habit surveys were carried out at Berkeley, Oldbury, Hartlepool and Sellafield in England. The results were used to improve the assessment of doses to the members of the public near nuclear licensed sites.
- Between April 2014 and March 2015, 383 contaminated particles were found in the Cumbrian coastlines originating from Sellafield by an ongoing survey programme which started in 2006. (An increase from 117 particles in the previous year.) These were removed by the site operator. The increase in the number of finds is due to the improvements in the detection capability of the mobile survey units that are used. A recent report by Public Health England describes the assessed health risks from the consumption of seafood (including those to commercial fishermen) from radioactive particles in the vicinity of the Sellafield site. Based on currently available information, it is concluded that the overall health risks to both seafood consumers and commercial fishermen are very low.
- Following the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011, food import controls from that country were introduced, and further revised during 2012. Monitoring at UK ports of entry showed little or no radioactivity in food.
- Sampling for freshwater fish affected by the 1986 Chernobyl accident ceased in upland lakes in 2014 following a risk-based review by the FSA.