Posted: 21.04.2022 14:06:00

Belarusian scientists conduct research on lands contaminated with radiation

Associate Professor Galina Sedukova, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences and Head of the Laboratory of Agroecology and Mass Analyses of the Radiobiology Institute at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, told the portal that not a single hectare is left without the attention of researchers

“We have made an inventory of lands withdrawn from circulation, which belong to agricultural organisations. We have determined their crop-engineering condition (the degree of bogging and overgrowth, remoteness from the centre of the organisation and settlements, etc.) and assessed their radiological condition (the content of cesium-137 and strontium-90). Meanwhile, before that, a lot of work has been done together with the Belarusian National Centre for Hydrometeorology, Radioactive Pollution Control and Environmental Monitoring (Belgidromet), an instruction was created for surveying land, taking into account all the peculiarities of the situation. Pollution occurred unevenly, so a separate approach was needed for each individual site. Based on the research, a toolkit has appeared to account the lands withdrawn from circulation. It has been introduced into the practice of specialists of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Department for Elimination of the Consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster at the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus.”

Belarusian scientists have also developed an algorithm for the order of consideration of the issue of putting land into agricultural circulation. It is important that it was possible to make a forecast of product contamination using indicator crops, enabling to understand whether it is possible to obtain products from these lands that meet the relevant standards for various purposes. Very soon, within the framework of the Union State programme, Belarusian specialists will present a forecast for the phased return of lands into circulation.

“Starting from this year, together with the Forest Institute of the National Academy of Sciences, we will carry out scientific work to determine the species composition and develop recommendations for its improvement on the lands that were withdrawn from circulation,” explained Galina Sedukova. “What does it mean? Natural reforestation has occurred in some contaminated areas after agricultural work was prohibited there. Today the task is to determine the species composition of trees, their condition, how it can be improved and, most importantly, how this tree and shrub vegetation can be used nowadays and in the future. This is a new promising direction for the economy.”