Different soils from Chernobyl area, of contrasted physical-chemical properties, will be used to cover a wide range of potential scenarios. Results from the characterization step will be used to design and test countermeasure actions, and to predict their effect in short and long-term scales. After the laboratory approach, restoration actions will be applied firstly in a small scale (plots), to be subsequently applied at larger areas (field scale).
Countermeasure strategy will be considered from different viewpoints : application of agricultural techniques, selection of forage plant species and countermeasures at soil level, in order to change composition of soil solution and soil adsorption-fixation properties, by means of the addition of fertilizers/liming and soil amendments (soils, clays, zeolites).
After the ChNPP accident, the territories of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were intensively contaminated. Agricultural lands were subjected to the most significative contamination, inclosing pastures and haylands, which occupy more than a half of all agricultural lands.
Meadows ecosystems are the main source of radionuclide transfer into animal products and represent critical systems, determining the major contribution to exposure dose of population. Meadow vulnerability to radioactivity varies with the radioisotopes deposited and systems considered. The studies after the Chernobyl accident showed that the contamination in meadows persists a long time, and that transfer into herbage was higher than in arable lands. This could be accounted for many reasons, as their poor cultivating, low degree of soil fertility and also insufficient information on the efficiency of countermeasures applied to concrete scenarios.
With respect to countermeasure strategy, there is a general of studies on meadows and previous experience in other environmental compartments have to be used.
The global aim of this project is to propose technically and economically suitable countermeasures to be applied at field scale in meadows ecosystems, in order to decrease mobility and transfer of radionuclides, mainly 137Cs and 90Sr, in different type of meadow. It also plans to study the influence of the countermeasures applied on the mineral status of the plant (c-macro and micro-nutrients) and, hence, their nutritive value for cattle feeding.
The clear new input of this proposal is that most of the countermeasure actions to be applied at plot/field scales will be previously designed and tested at laboratory scale, in order to have a restoration strategy applicable to other scenarios, from the knowledge of the mechanisms involved.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
AB9 2QJ Aberdeen