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[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] The average winds in the thermosphere during geomagnetically quiet times are important because they provide a baseline wind in the upper atmosphere, but they remain insufficiently understood at high latitudes. This paper reports the first direct ground-based wind measurements of the quiet-time thermospheric wind pattern at Tromsø in Norway using 2009–2015 data from a Fabry–Perot interferometer. We analyzed red-line wind measurements (630.0 nm; altitude: 200–300 km). On average, the zonal wind shows a decrease of eastward wind compared with diurnal tidal wind before midnight. A maximum speed of 100 m/s occurs at both the dusk and dawn sides. The meridional wind has a diurnal tide structure with a minimum value of − 130 m/s around midnight. We also found occasional large wind deviations (> 100 m/s) from the averages, even during geomagnetically quiet times. We suggest that these large wind deviations are caused by the plasma convection associated with weak substorm activities with auroral electrojet (AE) index values of less than 100 nT that occurred at local times different from that at Tromsø. .
[en] We have studied the alterations in the use of curative treatment and the outcome for lung cancer patients in Norway 2001–2016. The Cancer Registry of Norway has a practically complete registration of all cancer diagnoses, treatments given and deaths. For the years 2001–2016, 43,137 patients were diagnosed with lung cancer. Stereotactic radiotherapy was established nationwide from 2008 and its use has increased, and in 2016, 8.8% were given this treatment. In addition 20.6% were operated and 8.5% were treated with conventional radiotherapy. Thus 37.9% of those diagnosed were treated with intention to cure, compared to 22.9% in 2001 (p < 0.0001). Further, the median survival for the whole group diagnosed with lung cancer increased from 6.0 (95% CI 5.6–6.7) months in 2001 to 11.8 (95% CI 10.9–12.7) in 2016. The 5 year survival increased from 9.4 (95% CI 8.1–10.8)% to 19.9 (95% CI 19.2–20.6)% in the same period. In 2016 the age adjusted incidence rate was 59.5 per 100,000 (Norwegian standard) and had increased significantly in both sexes. There had also been an increase in mean age at diagnosis and the proportion diagnosed in an early stage. The increase in curative treatment has been paralleled with a doubling in both the median and 5-year survival. The present results are used for surveillance and as a benchmark, and we are looking forward to reaching a proportion of 40% of patients given curative treatment.
[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] 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] 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] 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] High amounts of tailings with a low recycling rate are generated during mining and smelting processes, and a lot of environmental problems were caused by heavy metal leaching from tailings. Temperature is a key point in heavy metals leaching, and knowing the effects of temperature on tailings leaching is useful for tailings management. A small-scale batch leaching experiment was conducted at different temperatures to test temperature-driven heavy metal leaching from tailings in the arctic area. The variation in the leaching of heavy metals from tailings was investigated by a small-scale batch leaching experiment. Results showed that 10 °C is a threshold temperature for the leaching activity of the tested elements. Fe, Cr, and Cu are significantly correlated with temperature in the leaching. Leaching rates of Cr, Cu, and Ni increase as temperature rises. Leaching rates of Cr, Cu, Ni, V, and Zn change by a polynomial model with temperatures, whereas that of Fe changes with a linear model. V shows an antagonistic relationship with Cu, Fe, and Ni in the leaching. However, Cu, Cr, Ni, and Fe show a synergistic relationship. Discovering the threshold temperature of leaching tailings in the arctic area and concluding the influence factors and the relationship between heavy metals leaching and temperature are useful for tailings management.
[en] We evaluate the capability of a low-cost all-sky imager (ASI), which has been operative in Longyearbyen (78.1° N, 15.5° E), Norway, to detect 630.0 nm airglow signatures of polar cap patches. The ASI is composed of a small camera, with a charge-coupled device (CCD), manufactured by Watec Co. Ltd., a fish-eye lens, and an optical filter whose central wavelength is 632.0 nm and full-width half maximum (FWHM) is 10 nm. In Longyearbyen, another ASI equipped with a cooled electron-multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) camera has been operative for observations of polar cap patches. We compare the images from the two systems and investigate the performance of the low-cost ASI. On the night of December 4, 2013, a series of polar cap patches were observed by the EMCCD ASI. The low-cost ASI also detected regions of enhanced 630.0 nm airglow passing through the fields-of-view. The quality of the raw images from the low-cost ASI obtained every 4 s were visibly much worse than that of the EMCCD ASI. However, an integration of 7–15 consecutive images made it possible to capture the temporal evolution and spatial structure of the patches, for example, their anti-sunward propagation and finger-like structures along the trailing edge. The estimated values of the absolute optical intensity from the low-cost ASI were found to be consistent with those from the EMCCD ASI, whereby the offset was < 100 R. This offset can be explained by the contribution of the background continuum emission to the low-cost ASI images, because the band width of the optical filter used for the low-cost ASI is ~ 3 times wider than that used for the EMCCD ASI. The results indicate that the airglow measurement with the low-cost ASI is feasible even for quantitative studies of F-region phenomena such as the dynamics of polar cap patches. .
[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.