As part of the MetroRadon project, measures and instruments were developed for better implementation of the EU BSS Directive and thus for improved radon protection. For this purpose, among other things, a monitoring system for low radon concentrations was developed. In addition, a coordinated metrological infrastructure for radon monitoring was established within the project. A further concern was the harmonization of the designation of radon areas in Europe.
The EU Directive 2013/59/EURATOM (EU-BSS) - "Basic safety standard for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionizing radiation" contains a number of requirements concerning radon protection of the population. The basis for implementation in the member states is not specified in the EU-BSS and was not yet sufficiently available elsewhere. The overall objective of the project was to support the member states in the implementation of the EU-BSS in national radon protection. For this purpose, quality assurance from radon measurements to radon maps should be ensured. The second major topic of the project was the harmonization of the designation of radon areas. The project goals were worked on in five technical work packages. The work package "Impact", which was responsible for the dissemination of the results, was led by us.
In the course of the project, the necessary metrological infrastructure for the calibration of radon measuring instruments was built up and a network of calibration institutes was established. The evaluation of the influence of thoron on radon measurements was also essential and led to the filing of a patent in this field. The quality standards of radon measurements were checked and improved by comparative measurements between the calibration institutes and by the users. The involvement of the industry (measurement equipment suppliers, measurement companies), e.g. by establishing a network and producing guidelines for this target group, was essential for the project. The work and results from the project provide the basis for traceable and comparable radon monitoring even at low radon concentrations.
Furthermore, the development of new methods for the identification and characterization of radon areas in Europe as well as the evaluation of a possible harmonization of radon measurements were subject of the research. For this purpose, already performed radon surveys as well as already existing radon mapping methods and definitions of radon areas in Europe were collected and documented. Relevant influences, such as the methods used or the different data bases were tested and evaluated. We took the lead in organizing a comparative study in this area. Different mapping methods were applied to two model datasets from Austria and Spain. The resulting maps were compared using different definitions for radon areas. Within the project, a new harmonized radon mapping method for Europe was also developed ("Geogenic Radon Hazard Index").
The results of the project were presented in more than 70 papers at international conferences and published in more than 15 publications. All papers, reports and guidelines are available on the MetroRADON website (see link below). Seven stakeholder workshops and courses were offered as part of the project. We co-hosted the "European Radon Week" in Vienna in February 2020 with the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and the European Radon Association, with over 100 participants from 29 countries (special issue on the event).
The project results should facilitate the implementation of the EU-BSS Directive and thus the radon protection of the European population. For this purpose, among other things, the basis for a uniform radon monitoring was created and new possibilities regarding radon mapping were investigated. Through our participation in the project, we are playing a leading role in the implementation and harmonization of the EU-BSS, especially in the field of radon mapping. International networking has been further strengthened as a result. The implementation of the workshop and the "European Radon Week 2020" may secure us an important role for further such events in the future. Our participation and visibility in the project has made us a potential partner for follow-up projects (e.g. traceRadon, RadoNorm).
Benefit of the project
A harmonized implementation of the European Directive in the Member States is the basis for a uniform radon protection of the European population. The elaborated documents and guidelines provide the basis for a harmonized quality assurance from radon measurement to radon mapping and thus for an improved radon protection.
Project acronym: MetroRadon
Project Management: Federal Office of Metrology and Surveying Project Management AGES: Valeria Gruber, Fachstelle für Radon Further project partners can be found on the project website.
Funding: The project was funded by the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), JRP-Contract 16ENV10 MetroRADON. The EMPIR initiative is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and EMPIR participating countries.
Project duration: 06/2017 to 11/2020
Pantelić, G., Čeliković, I., Živanović, M., Vukanac, I., Nikolić, J., Cinelli, G., Gruber, V., 2018. Literature review of Indoor radon surveys in Europe. Technical report, 1-104.
Pantelić, G., Čeliković, I., Živanović, M., Vukanac, I., Krneta Nikolić, J., Cinelli, G., Gruber, V., 2019. Qualitative overview of indoor radon surveys in Europe. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 204, 163-174.
Bossew, P., Cinelli, G., Ciotoli, G., Crowley, Q.G., De Cort, M., Elio Medina, J., Gruber, V., Petermann, E., Tollefsen, T., 2020. Development of a Geogenic Radon Hazard Index – concept, history, experiences. IJERPH, 17(11).
Gruber, V., Baumann, S., Alber, O., Laubichler, C., Bossew, P., Petermann, E., Ciotoli, G., Pereira, A., Domingos, F., Tondeur, F., Cinelli, G., Fernandez, A., Sainz, C., Quindos-Poncela, L., 2021. Comparison of radon mapping methods for the delineation of radon priority areas – an exercise. Journal of the European Radon Association 2, 5755.
Last updated: 31.08.2023