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DISTRIBUTION AND TRANSFER OF RADIONUCLIDES IN TERRESTRIAL AND SEA ENVIRONMENTS

Objective


A comparison of radionuclide deposition to vegetation has been made.

The exchange of radionuclides between the sea and the atmosphere has been studied.

An examination has been carried out of the influence of geography and climate on the current concentrations of strontium-90, americium-241, plutonium and gamma emitters, including caesium-134 and caesium-137, in atmospheric deposits, in soil and in vegetation and these baseline data hve been applied to parallel studies in the environment of nuclear installations. The continuous measurements allow seasonal effects to be established and sea to land transfer of actinides at coastal locations to be assessed. Soon after the work started, the Chernobyl accident introduced a further interest, namely to assess the transfer of fallout radiocaesium and strontium-90 to soil and vegetation.

The distribution and transfer of radionuclides in terrestrial and sea environments has been studied, in particular the exchange of radionuclides between the sea and the atmosphere.

A comparative study has been conducted of soil to plant transfer of neptunium, plutonium, americium and curium.
PROJECT 1. - COMPARISON OF RADIONUCLIDE DEPOSITION TO VEGETATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS AT COASTAL AND INLAND SITES IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IN FRANCE, AND IN THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.
THIS PROJECT IS IN TWO PARTS:
A. STUDIES ON THE INFLUENCE OF GEOGRAPHICAL FACTORS AND CLIMATE ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS FALLOUT OF PU AND AM-241 IN SOIL AND VEGETATION, AND ON THE MIGRATION OF FALLOUT IN SOIL.
B. COMPARISON OF THE DEPOSITION OF GAMMA-EMITTERS AND ACTINIDES, AND THEIR SOIL TO PLANT TRANSFER UNDER FIELD CONDITIONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS, AND OF THE MIGRATION IN SOIL.

PROJECT 2. - COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SOIL TO PLANT TRANSFER OF NEPTUNIUM, PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM AND CURIUM.
IT IS PROPOSED TO STUDY THE TRANSFER OF ACTINIDES TO CROP PLANTS THAT ARE CULTIVATED IN TYPICAL BRITISH AND FRENCH SOILS TO ESTABLISH TH INFLUENCE OF SOIL TYPE AND AGEING ON UPTAKE, AND THE SYNERGISTIC EFFECT ON UPTAKE OF COMBINED APPLICATION OF ACTINIDES. THE CHEMICAL FORMS OF ACTINIDES EQUILIBRATED IN SOILS WILL BE EXAMINED. PLANTS WILL BE GROWN IN POTS CONTAINING 15-20 KG SOIL TO WHICH ACTINIDES HAVE BEEN ADDED IN NITRATE FORM. FERTILISER WILL BE APPLIED AT RATES SUITED TO THE PLANT SPECIES.

PROJECT 3. - EXCHANGE OF RADIONUCLIDES BETWEEN THE SEA AND ATMOSPHERE.
THE RESEARCH WORK COVERED IN THIS PROPOSAL IS DESIGNED TO BE PERFORMED IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHER RESEARC PROPOSED BY THE CEA,LABORATOIRE D'ETUDE DES POLLUTIONS ATMOSPHERIQUES, INSTITUT DE PROTECTION ET DE SURETE NUCLEAIRE, DEPARTEMENT D' ETUDE ET DE RECHERCHES EN SECURITE, FONTENAY-AUX-ROSES, FRANCE.
IT IS PROPOSED TO INVESTIGATE THE MECHANISMS BY WHICH ARTIFICIAL RADIONUCLIDES IN THE SEA CAN BE CONVERTED INTO AEROSOL IN THE ATMOSPHERE ABOVE THE SEA SURFACE, AND TO STUDY THIS AEROSOL IN THE COURSE OF ITS TRANSFER TO LAND. THE PRESENT PROPOSAL IS CONCERNED MAINLY WITH FIELD STUDIES AND THE ASSOCIATED PROPOSAL FROM FRANCE DEALS MAINLY WITH LABORATORY STUDIES.
A. DEVELOPMENT OF SEA-SURFACE MICROLAYER SAMPLING EQUIPMENT.
B. FIELD MEASUREMENTS
B.A. SEA TO AIR TRANSFER
B.B. TRANSFER TO LAND

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Address
11 Charles Ii Street
SW1Y 4QP London
United Kingdom