Tasks of RAMDAN
RAMDAN was established in 1975 by an internal order of the minister of health. Its primary goal was a regular, routine, radiological monitoring of the environment, including a qualitative and quantitative analysis of artificial radionuclides arising from nuclear weapon tests or a potential nuclear war, in order to estimate the risk and degree of the health damage to the public.
The development of the Hungarian nuclear energetics (Paks Nuclear Power Plant) and the occurence of nuclear accidents in the 1980s (especially that in Chernobil) brought an improvement in the activities of RAMDAN and a shift of its scope towards the peaceful application of nuclear energy. More and more emphasis was put on the estimation of the radiation burden of the population from artificial sources and in the recent years from natural sources, as well. RAMDAN is subordinate to the Ministry of Health and operates within the organizational frame of the National Public Health and Medical Officers Service (NPHMOS).
According to the point f), ¶ (2), § 68 of the CXVIth Law on Atomic Energy (1996) the minister of health reregulated the tasks and activities of RAMDAN in his 8/2002 (III.12.) ministerial order. This states that RAMDAN deals with environmental radiation protection and radiation hygiene both in normal circumstances and in nuclear or radiological emergency:
Pursuant to the above ministerial order, the „Frédéric Joliot-Curie” National Research Institute for Radiobiology and Radiohygiene (NRIRR) plays a central role in the operation of RAMDAN:
- it takes samples from different environmental media (air, soil, flora, surface waters, drinking water, foodstuffs etc.) for the purpose of a regular radiation monitoring
- it takes on-site and laboratory measurements in order to detect the radiation conditions of the environment, performing a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the radioactive materials possibly present in the environment
- it estimates the radiation burden (dose) of the members of the public from natural and artificial radioactive isotopes in the environment
- it provides data for the National Environmental Radiological Monitoring System (NERMS)
Within NRIRR, these tasks are performed by the Division of Public and Environmental Radiohygiene, and the Division of Informatics and Data Centre contributes to the RAMDAN IC.
- it operates the RAMDAN Information Centre (RAMDAN IC), which collects and processes the measurement results
- it operates the high level radiological laboratory of RAMDAN
- it performs measurements that require special sample preparation and high sensitivity, special methodology
- it gives professional guidance to the RAMDAN laboratories, that is
- it plans the annual sampling and measuring programme of RAMDAN and hands it in to the chief medical officer for assent
- it works out a uniform sampling and measuring methodology for the RAMDAN laboratories
- it gives professional support for and advice on the measuring activities of RAMDAN
- it organises intercomparison exercises and training courses on measuring techniques
- it evaluates the annual activity of RAMDAN
- it evaluates the radiation conditions of the environment and determines the radiation burden of the population
- it publishes the results in yearly reports.