Scientists warn of digital power meter radiation risks

A number of local scientists have expressed concern over the radiation levels to be transmitted by digital power meters, whose installation around the country is being planned by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator.

The operator has denied that the prospective system upgrade will lead to any public health dangers.

HEDNO, locally acronymed DEDDIE, is seeking to stage a pilot tender for the installation of an initial lot of 170,000 smart meters in various parts of the country. This pilot program will serve as a lead-up to the project’s full-scale installation, entailing the replacement of 7 million conventional power meters.

Speaking on local radio, Dr. Christos Georgiou, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Patras’s Department of Biology, warned that “smart” power meters would transmit health hazardous radiation at levels equivalent to those produced by mobile telephony antennas.

Dr. Georgiou noted that the use of digital power meters abroad, especially in the USA, is being viewed as extremely dangerous for public health, adding that wider reaction against the installation of such systems has already emerged.

On the contrary, HEDNO has rejected any health concerns linked to the use of digital power meters. The operator has informed that wireless GPRS technology will be limited to 20 percent of the pilot program’s 170,000 digital power meters, which works out to 34,000 power meters. The operator has noted that power line carrier (PLC) technology will be applied to 80 percent of the pilot program’s total number of power meters, or 136,000 power meters.