Science Festival in Nantes with OpenRadiation

With OpenRadiation, measure yourself the radioactivity in the environment!

Radioactivity is present everywhere on our planet, it forms an ambient background noise made up of radioactive elements naturally present in our environment, radiation of cosmic origin, but also artificial products (nuclear industry, medical imaging and treatments, research activities, etc.). We are therefore permanently exposed to ionizing radiation of natural and artificial origin. Over the last few years, technological progress and digital developments have given rise to new tools enabling everyone to better understand the level of radioactivity in their environment. It is in this context that the OpenRadiation project was born. It centralizes measurements of radioactivity in the environment carried out by citizens, both in France and around the world, and makes them visible to everyone through dynamic cartography (https://www.openradiation.org/).

More precisely, this booth invites you to come and discover the sensor as well as the OpenRadiation smartphone application, offering the possibility to measure the radioactivity that surrounds us. This will be the opportunity for you to make your own measurements using the sensors made available, to share your results with the various stakeholders present on site and with other users of the OpenRadiation community.

After the Fukushima accident, in addition to the measures disseminated by the authorities, Japanese citizens wanted to form their own opinion on the radiological risk to which they were exposed using commercially available individual dosimeters. The data obtained was often shared on the Internet, particularly through interactive mapping. Exchanges on these measurements between experts and the public have led to a better understanding of the radiological state of the environment affected by the accident. It is in this context that the OpenRadiation project was born, involving 4 partners: IRSN, IFFO-RME, Planète Sciences and the Fablab Sorbonne University. This project enables the centralization of environmental radioactivity measurements carried out by citizens and makes them visible to all through dynamic mapping (https://www.openradiation.org/). In general, OpenRadiation offers the public the possibility to contribute to providing data useful for the evaluation of a radiological situation.

As part of the 2020 Science Festival, the Nantes Natural History Museum is offering visitors the opportunity to come and discover and test ways of measuring radioactivity. This experience will allow visitors to open up to a little-known dimension in our relationship with nature, that of ambient radioactivity in the environment. On a practical level, sensors will be made available to the public who will be able to take measurements in different places. The measurement results will then be interpreted with the help of the various stakeholders present on site, comparing them with the radiological status of the Nantes area, as well as with the results obtained by other users of the OpenRadiation community.

It should be noted that this initiative is part of the will to set up an OpenRadiation user community on the territory of Nantes, for which several actors are already associated (IUT of Nantes, LabSciren, FabLab of the Faculty of Sciences).