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[en] The Himdalen facility is used for the disposal and storage of LILW. The radioactive waste is generated from the operation of two research reactors, research institutes, hospitals and the oil industry. The facility is expected to be in operation until the year 2030. It will enable the disposal of all Norwegian LILW, including waste from the decommissioning of two research reactors.
[en] The 5-year (2015-2020) European Joint Programme CONCERT integrates research priorities in all areas of application of ionizing radiation throughout Europe. Institutions from almost all EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland have joined forces to combine their expertise and research activities in order to improve radiation protection. There was a public call in 2016 and 2017 on current research priorities from all areas of radiation protection. Within the scope of the calls, universities and research institutions from all over Europe had the opportunity to set up consortia and submit proposals. Altogether 9 research projects are funded by CONCERT.
[en] Sustainable development has by now become an element deeply integrated in the everyday design. It has many shades and may be found under many names. We speak about resiliency in design and procurement of passive, ecologic, plus energy, or nZEB buildings. Nevertheless, if we look closely, we may distinguish certain characteristic ideas. First, sustainable development of societies and urbanization processes should be consistent on a deeper level than presently, and be included within design processes, organization, and planning, as well as modernization and redevelopment procedures of existing urban tissue. Secondly, urbanization should be perceived holistically, as an interaction and harmonious development of both natural and manmade environments, with solutions based on the best technical and technological standards available. Lastly, described ideas are achievable only, if we include continuous cooperation between urban planners, architects, specialist consultants, as well as energy-efficient interdisciplinary solutions to achieve high standard energy measures. One of the thresholds is economic feasibility; the other is health and well-being of the users which should always be discussed as a priority. This paper—outside a brief theoretical approach to initial procedures in design management—will dwell on transformation and modernization of an existing building belonging to the Warsaw University of Technology, one of the oldest universities in Poland, its founding dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century. In 2015, a Nordic Finance Mechanism grant dedicated to the nZEB technology transfer from Norway to Poland was awarded to a group of researchers from Warsaw University of Technology and NTNU Trondheim. The main aim of the project is implementation of nZEB knowledge in Poland, as well as preparation of two integrated concept designs for public (University) buildings as exemplary case studies which could act as the benchmarks for other public buildings.
[en] The aim of this study was to develop an electronic (e)-learning course in radiation protection for health professionals in Ghana and also to assess and evaluate the impact of the course in the knowledge and radiation protection awareness level amongst health professionals. The course was developed with an already established course from St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim in Norway as a guide. This course was translated into English and reviewed with IAEA online training courses and other relevant literature in radiation protection. The course content was categorized into five (5) sections followed by 20 multiple-choice questions and uploaded on padlet (an e-learning platform). All groups took the test in two different occasions and a pass mark of fifteen (15) was set. A convenience sampling method was employed in this study to recruit sixty (60) health professionals comprising of thirty (30) Radiographers (Group1 and Group2) and thirty (30) Non-radiographers (Doctors, Anesthetists and Nurses). There was significant performance (p=0.015< α; α=0.05) in the mean scores of Group 2 (17.33) compared with that of Group 1 (15.27) of the radiographers. In the case of the non-radiographers, no significance (p=0.840; p=0.811) was recorded in the mean scores for the Doctors (16.20; 16.10) and Anesthetists (15.70; 15.60) in their initial and subsequent testing respectively. However, the nurses showed improvement (p=0.003) from 13.80 to 14.60 in the mean scores of the first and second testing even though the scores was still below the pass mark of 15. The e-learning course in radiation protection was successfully developed and the training made an impact in the knowledge and radiation protection awareness among the health professionals as reflected in their mean scores of the pre- and post-tests. (Author)
[en] Season of birth has been hypothesized to be a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the evidence has been mixed and limited due to methodological challenges. We examine ASD birth trends for 5,464,628 births across 5 countries. ASD birth prevalence data were obtained from the International Collaboration for Autism Registry Epidemiology database, including children born in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Western Australia. Empirical mode decomposition and cosinor modeling were used to assess seasonality. We show seasonal variation in ASD births for the countries of Finland and Sweden. There was a modest increase in risk for children born in the fall and a modest decrease in risk for children born in the spring. Solar radiation levels around conception and the postnatal period were inversely correlated with seasonal trends in ASD risk. In the first multinational study of birth seasonality of ASD, there was evidence supporting the presence of seasonal trends in Finland and Sweden. The observations that risk was highest for fall births (i.e., conceived in the winter) and lowest for spring births (i.e., conceived in the summer), and sunlight levels during critical neurodevelopmental periods explained much of the seasonal trends, are consistent with the hypothesis that a seasonally fluctuating risk factor may influence risk of ASD.
[en] Highlights: • Indoor radon was measured in randomly selected newly built houses in 2008 and 2016. • New building regulations with preventive measures on radon was introduced in 2010. • A significant reduction of radon concentrations was found in detached houses. - Abstract: Results from two national surveys of radon in newly built homes in Norway, performed in 2008 and 2016, were used in this study to investigate the effect of the 2010 building regulations introducing limit values on radon and requirements for radon prevention measures upon construction of new buildings. In both surveys, homes were randomly selected from the National Building Registry. The overall result was a considerable reduction of radon concentrations after the implementation of new regulations, but the results varied between the different dwelling categories. A statistically significant reduction was found for detached houses where the average radon concentration was almost halved from 76 to 40 Bq/m3. The fraction of detached houses which had at least one frequently occupied room with a radon concentration above the Action Level (100 Bq/m3) fell from 23.9% to 6.4%, while the fraction above the Upper Limit Value (200 Bq/m3) was reduced from 7.6% to 2.5%. In 2008 the average radon concentration measured in terraced and semi-detached houses was 44 and in 2016 it was 29 Bq/m3, but the reduction was not statistically significant. For multifamily houses, it was not possible to draw a conclusion due to insufficient number of measurements.
[en] Highlights: • Detailed Cs-137 map of the most Chernobyl contaminated area in Norway was obtained. • Aerial data were validated against 60 independent ground measurements. • Strong correlation found between airborne survey results and ground measurements. - Abstract: An airborne radiometric survey can be an efficient way to investigate contamination of large areas after nuclear accidents. In the current study, a helicopter borne gamma ray spectrometry survey was carried out in a vast mountainous area in Norway, where the contamination from the 1986 Chernobyl accident still affects animal husbandry more than 30 years after the fallout occurred. The 137Cs activity densities provided by the aerial survey was validated using various independent ground-based measurements – including soil samples and in situ measurements (at 1 m above ground). Despite considerable small-scale heterogeneity, demonstrated by the ground-based measurements, strong correlations were obtained between the results from the aerial survey – after introducing more detailed instrument calibration and spectre analysis – and the ground-level data. Adjusted R2 values were around 0.9, and linear correlation coefficients close to unity.
[en] We have investigated the solar flare effects on ionospheric absorption with the systematic analysis of ionograms measured at midlatitude and low-latitude ionosonde stations under different solar zenith angles. The lowest recorded ionosonde echo, the minimum frequency (, a qualitative proxy for the "nondeviative" radio wave absorption occurring in the D-layer), and the d parameter (difference between the value of the and the mean for reference days) have been considered. Data were provided by meridionally distributed ionosonde stations in Europe and South Africa during eight X- and M-class solar flares in solar cycle 23. Total and partial radio fade-out was experienced at every ionospheric station during intense solar flares (> M6). The duration of the total radio fade-out varied between 15 and 150 min and it was highly dependent on the solar zenith angle of the ionospheric stations. Furthermore, a solar-zenith-angle-dependent enhancement of the (2-9 MHz) and d (1-8 MHz) parameters was observed at almost every station. The and d parameters show an increasing trend with the enhancement of the X-ray flux. Based on our results, the d parameter is a good qualitative measure for the relative variation of the "nondeviative" absorption, especially in the case of the less intense solar flares, which do not cause total radio fade-out in the ionosphere (class < M6).
[en] Waste tanks at the nuclear facility located at Sellafield, UK, represent a nuclear source which could release radionuclides to the atmosphere. A model chain which combines atmospheric transport, deposition as well as riverine transport to sea has been developed to predict the riverine activity concentrations of 137Cs. The source term was estimated to be 9 × 104 TBq of 137Cs, or 1% of the assumed total 137Cs inventory of the HAL (Highly Active Liquid) storage tanks. Air dispersion modelling predicted 137Cs deposition reaching 127 kBq m−2 at the Vikedal catchment in Western Norway. Thus, the riverine transport model predicted that the activity concentration of 137Cs in water at the river outlet could reach 9000 Bq m−3 in the aqueous phase and 1000 Bq kg−1 in solid phase at peak level. The lake and river reaches showed different transport patterns due to the buffering effects caused by dilution and slowing down of water velocity.
[en] Accounting for over 29 % of Norway's overall CO2 emissions, transport-related emissions have fallen sharply since 2012. This trend is mainly due to the fact all stakeholders made significant efforts to progressively electrify both the vehicle fleet and maritime transport. Road freight and domestic air travel are already in line as the next upcoming challenges. Norwegian local governments' efforts in terms of public transit in urban areas have delivered real results but did not lead to a fall in transport demand at the national level. Only train journeys have recently decreased