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What is the radiation level in Hong Kong?

From 1987 to 1991, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) conducted a comprehensive radiation monitoring programme to establish the baseline radiation levels in various environmental media in Hong Kong. These levels are the references against which data obtained after the commercial operation of the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station would be compared. The programme entered the second phase in 1992, which is an on-going programme so that any long term changes in the environmental radioactivity can be determined. Under the programme, air, water, foodstuff, soil and other samples are collected and analyzed regularly for their radioactivity content. Ambient gamma radiation levels are also measured at a number of places over the territory. The measurement results show that there is no observable increase in the radiation level in the environment of Hong Kong before and after the operation of the nuclear power stations at Daya Bay. Details of measurements are published in the monthly and annual environmental radiation monitoring reports of the HKO.

Figure 1
Figure 1 - Spatial distribution of environmental gamma absorbed dose rates in air in Hong Kong in 1999


HKO has established a Radiation Monitoring Network (RMN) to continuously monitor the ambient gamma dose rates in Hong Kong. In addition, HKO conducts radiological surveys regularly to monitor the environmental gamma absorbed dose rate in air. A comprehensive radiological survey conducted in 1999 revealed that the environmental gamma absorbed dose in air in Hong Kong is similar to those in other places in the world. For details of the survey, please refer to the following reports:

  1. Environmental Radiation Monitoring in Hong Kong Technical Report No. 17-Environmental Gamma Absorbed Dose Rate in Air in Hong Kong 1999; and
  2. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) 2000 Report.

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