Control During the Kosovo Conflict
up to January 2001
AD HOC Committee on Depleted Uranium (AHCDU)
The Ministry of Environment and Water carries out monitoring on radiological
status of the major environmental components: air, water and soils. For
that purpose is used: network of control points, periodical and complex
observation on some parameters.
Since the beginning of April 1999, an intensive radiological control
in the region near the FR Yugoslavia boundary has been carried out. After
the end of military operations, full radiological investigation of environmental
components in 50-km boundary zone was made.
The radiological control covers:
- Monitoring of the radiation gamma background
The permanent monitoring of doze rate over the territory of Republic
of Bulgaria is performed by the National System for Radiation Control
in Real Time through 26 Local Monitoring Stations,
The system is able: to reliably detect significant changes in the level
of radiation which might occur; to provide the earliest possible warning
to appropriate national authorities out to other potentially affected
Since 1997, when the Early Warning System was established, the period
of military operations, and till now the data is regularly received and
no increase is observed.
- Control of the ambient air radiological parameters
During the period of the military operations in Yugoslavia aerosol sampling
was made via stationary stations in the towns of Sofia, Bourgas, Vratsa,
Varna and Montana, as well as along the west boundary, and in the towns
of Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Bourgas.
The data from monitoring of atmospheric radioactivity (about 60 samples)
- background specific activities of uranium 238 - from 0.18 to 0.6 mBq/m3.
The average annual permissible concentration of radionuclides in ambient
air is 4.0 mBq/m3;
- the total uranium concentration is in the range from 1 to 9 x 10-10
g/m3. The average annual permissible concentration of radionuclides
in ambient air is 1.58 x 10-7 g/m3;
- specific activity of Cs - 137< 10
The investigations of atmospheric radioactivity do not show any increase
of the specific activities of natural and artificial radionuclides in
During the war in Yugoslavia 6 rainfall water samples (quantity of rainfall
from 0.460 1/m2 to 18.200 1/m2) were investigated in station Pavlovo,
Sofia. The concentrations of total uranium measured in rainfall water
were less than 0.0002 mg/1.
- The radiation status of soils, surface water sediments and vegetation
During the war in Yugoslavia additionally 80 soil samples were investigated
from boundary regions. The specific activity of natural and artificial
radionuclides was identified, including uranium 238.
The results of monitoring and assessment performed before, during and
after the war, do not show an increase of specific activity of uranium
238 over the background values lhat is typical for this region.
To determine the specific activity of uranium 238 and other natural and
artificial radionuclides, 24 sediments were investigated from surface
water, as follows: the rivers of Danube, Timok, Struma, Nishava, Dragovishtiza.
There are not observed the values higher then usual for the area.
Due to the radiological investigations of vegetation carried out in the
region of the town of Buhovo, as well as from the mouth of the Timok River
and the islands of Kutovo, Kopanitsa, Bogdan-Sechan, Dobrina, and other
boundary settlements (total 21 samples), if is observed the range of specific
activity of uranium" 238 from 0.4 to 1.5 Bq/kg dry mass, which are typical
background values for plant species.
In January 2001, soil and water samples were analysed in the Executive
Environmental Agency. The samples were taken by Kazablanka region, Kosovo.
The specific activities of natural radionuclides measured in soil samples
are usual background values. The ratio between uranium 238 and radon 226
and the ratio between uranium 238 and uranium 235 are typical for the
status of natural radionuclides.
The results show that there is not additional activity due to uranium
- The radiation state of water from boundary rivers
56 samples were made, which were taken by the rivers of Danube (from
Novo selo to Oryahovo), Timok, Cibriza mouth, Erma, Nishava, Struma, Dragovishtiza,
Voynishka, Archar, Vladayska, as well as standing water Iskar dam, dam
at the village of Yarlovtsi and dam at the village of Dolno selo.
The analysis of total uranium was made through laser analyser of uranium,
type UA-3 (Scinterexq, Canada). The minimum concentration, which could
be detected, is 0.0002 mg/1, with accuracy - 5%.
The total beta activities measured in all samples are considerably below
the MPC (Bulgarian National Standard 2823/1983 - Drinking water). The
identified concentrations of total uranium into water samples are within
the range less then 0.0002 mg/1 (Vladayska River) to 0.0033 mg/1 (Cibritza
River - Mouth), which is below the MPC - 0.6 mg/1.
The results of the water samples analysed, taken by the Kazablanka region,
Kosovo (January 2001) show the concentrations of uranium from 0.0006 mg/1
to 0.0011 mg/1. It is below MPC for drinking water - 0.6 mg/1.
The results from the radiological investigations and analyses of environmental
components do not show any changes of radiological status in the country,
as a result of military operations in Yugoslavia.