Thyroid measurement campaign after an accidental release of 45 GBq 131I in Fleurus, Belgium

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On August 22, 2008, a cloud of 131I was released from the Institut des Radioelements (IRE), a producer of medical isotopes located in Fleurus, Belgium. After reports of the incident in the press, concern grew among the local population about possible health effects of this release of radioactivity. As a consequence of this concern, the Belgian public health authorities organised a thyroid measurement campaign for the local public to reassure the public that no detectable dose was acquired in the thyroid, especially for small children and pregnant women.The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN made a very substantial contribution to the thyroid measurement campaign. It provided 4 of the 5 measurement teams, each one equipped with a high-purity germanium detector and the necessary hardware and software. The University of Liège provided another team with a NaI detector. This paper elaborates on the preparation of this measurement campaign and the practical execution. It draws important lessons for the preparedness for similar situations in the future, both with respect to public information and technical and organisational aspects


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThird European IRPA Congress. Proceedings
Place of PublicationHelsinki, Finland
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
EventIRPA 2010 - 3th European IRPA Congress : Encouraging Sustainability in Radiation Protection - Finland - IRPA : International Radiation Protection Agency, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 14 Jun 201018 Jun 2010


ConferenceIRPA 2010 - 3th European IRPA Congress : Encouraging Sustainability in Radiation Protection - Finland
Internet address


  • campgaign, accidental, Fleurus, Belgium

ID: 304004