Radionuclides in the Arctic echinoderms have seldom been studied despite their considerable environmental importance. This manuscript covers the results of 90Sr and 137Cs measurements in common echinoderm taxa collected from the Svalbard Bank in the Barents Sea and from two High-Arctic fjords (Isfjorden and Magdalenefjorden). We focused on the echinoid, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, the asteroid, Henricia sanguinolenta, and the ophiuroid, Ophiopolis aculeata. For all echinoderms, the analysis revealed a negative correlation between 90Sr activity and the mass. Thus, we concluded that metals are accumulated faster at a young age when the growth is most rapid. The highest average activities of 137Cs followed the order O. aculeata>H. sanguinolenta>S. droebachiensis. This suggests that bioaccumulation was highly taxon-dependent and could reflect differences in the isotope exposures associated with the diet of echinoderms. The study provides a baseline for understanding radionuclide processes in the High-Arctic benthic echinoderm communities.
The level of radiation exposure in children in Belarus caused by the Chernobyl accident was investigated on the basis of whole body 137Cs count. The subjects were 10,062 children (4,762 boys and 5,300 girls) in Mogilev and Gomel, Belarus, who received Chernobyl Sasakawa Health and Medical Cooperation Project health examinations from May 1991 to December 1992 and who were 5-16 y old at the time of examination. The median whole body 137Cs count per body weight varied from 21-48 Bq kg-1 and from 28-126 Bq kg-1 in Mogilev oblast and Gomel oblast, respectively. (The "oblast" is the largest administrative district constituting the country. Belarus consists of 6 oblasts). Corresponding annual effective dose equivalents were all less than the public dose limit of 1 mSv y-1, but the observed levels in the children were considerably higher than the average level of 2.3 Bq kg-1 reported in the past for the former Soviet Union.
Comment In: Health Phys. 1995 May;68(5):733-57730075
137Cs activities were measured in a variety of epigeic and epiphytic lichens in Austria before and after contamination by the Chernobyl fallout. For comparison, the activity of the naturally occurring 40K was also determined in each lichen sample. The high 137Cs activities found after Chernobyl suggest that lichens are suitable and inexpensive biological detectors of the fallout pattern.
The nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima released large amounts of (137)Cs radionuclides into the atmosphere which spread over large forest areas. We compared the (137)Cs concentration distribution in different parts of two coniferous forest ecosystems (needle litter, stems and at different depths in the soil) over short and long term periods in Finland and Japan. We also estimated the change in (137)Cs activity concentrations in needle and soil between 1995 and 2013 in Southern Finland based on the back-calculated (137)Cs activity concentrations. We hypothesized that if the (137)Cs activity concentrations measured in 1995 and 2013 showed a similar decline in concentration, the (137)Cs activity concentration in the ecosystem was already stable in 1995. But if not, the (137)Cs activity concentrations were still changing in 2013. Our results showed that the vertical distribution of the (137)Cs fallout in the soil was similar in Hyytiälä and Fukushima. The highest (137)Cs concentrations were observed in the uppermost surface layers of the soil, and they decreased exponentially deeper in the soil. We also observed that (137)Cs activity concentrations estimated from the samples in 1995 and 2013 in Finland showed different behavior in the surface soil layers compared to the deep soil layer. These results suggested that the (137)Cs nuclei were still mobile in the surface soil layers 27 years after the accident. Our results further indicated that, in the aboveground parts of the trees, the (137)Cs concentrations were much closer to steady-state when compared to those of the surface soil layers based on the estimated declining rates of (137)Cs concentration activity in needles which were similar in 1995 and 2013. Despite its mobility and active role in the metabolism of trees, the (137)Cs remains in the structure of the trees for decades, and there is not much exchange of (137)Cs between the heartwood and surface layers of the stem.
The (137)Cs-based chronological approach is suggested to identify the age of urban landscapes and the chronology of pollution of soil in residential areas. Three main pivot points constitute the basis of the chronological approach: beginning of the Atomic Era in 1945, the maximum input in 1963 and the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Application of (137)Cs as a timescale tracer was tested on the example of Ekaterinburg, a city in the Middle Urals region of Russia. The sampling of recent urban sediments of micro water bodies (puddles) was carried out in 210 locations in 2007-2010. The concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn and Fe, and activity concentrations of (137)Cs were measured. It was found that the (137)Cs concentrations in the puddle sediments correlated with the age of surrounding buildings determined by the year of construction. The correlations between the concentrations of metals and (137)Cs in the puddle sediments identified the major pollutants of the urban area, assessing their background concentrations and obtaining the average annual inputs.
This research work is devoted to analyzing the processes of accumulation and distribution of long-lived radionuclides of 90Sr and 137Cs in the components of water-sediment-macrophytes of Lake Malye Kirpichiky (Chelyabinsk region). The characteristic features of redistribution of radioactive substances, depending on the texture of the bottom sediments of the lake and the species composition of aquatic vegetation are shown. Also shown is the total stock of radionuclides in water and bottom sediments. The coefficients of 90Sr and 137Cs accumulation in bottom sediments and macrophytes have been calculated.
Individual measurement data on radiological surveillance of people residing in the territories most radioactively contaminated following the Chernobyl accident are analyzed to provide a comparison of doses from caesium radionuclides to children and adults. The external doses to children does not exceed those to adult inhabitants of the same settlement. By the results of surveillance in 1986 more than 80 thousand inhabitants of the western areas of Bryansk region, a specific activity of caesium radionuclides and corresponding internal radiation dose rate in a number of settlements appeared at children age under 3 years old exceeding the appropriate parameters for adult inhabitants. Among persons evacuated from the contaminated areas, such excess in day of departure from an area averaged 3.8 for surveyed pairs the child-parent.
A selected group of about 20 male researchers at the NIRS that reside in Chiba, Japan, was measured for total body content of radiocesium and 40K every 3 mo from February 1986 to May 1991. A whole-body counter at the NIRS was used to measure their radioactivity in a scanning mode of 5 cm min-1 in a shielded iron room with walls 20 cm in thickness. A maximum radiocesium level of 59 Bq was observed in May 1987. The annual change in the body burden decreased with an apparent half-time of 1.8 y after May 1987. The period of five years was sufficient to eliminate the effects of the accident in this group. Even in the most contaminated period, the dose from radiocesium was below 2 microSv y-1. The cumulative dose for 5 y was estimated to be 5.6 microSv, which is nearly equal to the total dose to the Japanese people caused by the artificial radionuclide fallout for the first year following the accident. It is much smaller than the committed dose of 82 microSv for internally deposited 137Cs resulting from nuclear explosions in 1961 and 1962 and the annual dose of 170 microSv from internal 40K. No detectable health risk was expected for the present group.
Results from a comparative analysis of the efficiency of countermeasures in agriculture in a long term after the ChNPP accident are presented. Based on criteria such as reduction factor for 137Cs transfer to plants, averted dose and cost of 1 manSv relative ratings of countermeasures are given. Using one of the farms, located in the contaminated area as an example radiological justification of the optimal systems of countermeasures application is provided.