THE ARGUS ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING TRUST
DATA CONTRIBUTORS > PLEASE NOTE: Comprehensive details can be found HERE on how to use our Map & Graphing website to present and archive your own data source(s).
Link to: The History of the Argus Project
Link to: Local UK Regions on the Map
Why the Network of Argus Gamma Monitors, Post Chernobyl:
The Argus Independent Radiation Network of remote gamma monitors was initially set up to archive baseline radiation levels in 1986 in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Contrary to general belief, radioactive fallout over the British Isles varied considerably, so much so that researchers at Newcastle University confirmed in the early 2000’s that increases in thyroid cancer in one part of England, namely Cumbria, were almost certainly due to the increase in radioactive fallout due to Chernobyl. A Met Office report, soon after the Chernobyl accident, confirmed that levels of radioactive debris from the Chernobyl fallout cloud varied considerably, particularly when it had been raining.
The Argus Central Database system polls stations every 10 mins and so gives immediate warning of changes in terrestrial radioactive levels and therefore forms a very important reassurance to the public.
Although there has been no measurable radioactive fallout from nuclear accidents since Chernobyl in the UK, the Argus gamma monitors have proved sensitive enough to record both natural and chance radioactive events, for example, one Argus monitor in Northern Ireland detected a Cesium 137 source which was located some distance away on a ship moored in a harbour nearby. It regularly detects significant increases in background radiation which appear at times of heavy rain and which are probably due to “washout”. The nuclear industry has confirmed such washout can be composed of radionuclides with short half-lives which are brought down under certain weather conditions.
The importance of the network, the results of which are publicly available, is strengthened by the number of participants in the scheme. No one knows when an incident may occur, when local and national knowledge of fallout patterns may be vital, but as a continuing insurance policy it can play an important part in the public’s knowledge and reassurance about environmental insults.
*The Objects of The Argus Trust:
The purposes of the Trust are:
(i) To collect data about the environment locally, nationally and internationally.
(ii) To store the collected data as an archive.
(iii) To make the archived data and the methodology of collection available to all.
(iv) To promote the dissemination of archived data.
(v) To promote the development of data collection and storage systems.
(vi) Not to undertake any licence or agreement that restricts or compromises the purposes of the Trust.
PROVIDED THAT the trust shall restrict its activities to the matters mentioned in paragraph (a) and shall not support any point of view, argument or campaign by reference to the data it has collected or stored or by interpretation or presentation thereof, but shall use its best endeavours to collect and make available data in its uninterpreted form, but nothing in this paragraph shall be taken to mean that others who have access to the data may not support such points of view arguments or campaignings.