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Cs-137 concentration in reindeer and its fodder plants

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature102069
Source
Science of the Total Environment. 1989 Sep;85:199-206
Publication Type
Article
Date
Sep-1989
Author
Rissanen, K
Rahola, T
Source
Science of the Total Environment. 1989 Sep;85:199-206
Date
Sep-1989
Language
English
Geographic Location
Finland
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Accidents
Animal Feed, analysis
Animals
Cesium Radioisotopes, analysis
Finland
Geography
Lichens, analysis
Nuclear Reactors
Plants, analysis
Radioactive fallout
Reindeer
Ukraine
Abstract
Radionuclides, especially the long-lived 137Cs (physical half-life 30 years), are accumulated efficiently in the northern, subarctic, lichen-reindeer-man foodchain. Until the Chernobyl accident the fallout nuclides studied originated from nuclear weapons tests. After this accident some fresh fallout was deposited in Finnish Lapland. Lichens grow very slowly and collect nutrients very efficiently from air, rain and snow. During winter the basic fodder plants for reindeer are lichens and some winter-green plants, shrubs and dry leaves. During the bare-ground season, the reindeer eat various grasses, herbs and leaves etc. Lichens constitute 30-50 per cent of the entire vegetable mass consumed by the reindeer in a year. The highest 137Cs-concentration 2500 Bq/kg dry weight was found in lichen in the middle of the 1960s. In 1985 the concentration had decreased to about 240 Bq/kg dry weight. After the Chernobyl accident the 137Cs-concentration in lichen varied from 200 to 2000 Bq/kg dry weight in Finnish Lapland. In reindeer fodder plant samples collected in the 1980s before the Chernobyl accident the 137Cs-concentration varied from 5 to 970 Bq/kg dry weight. The highest 137Cs-concentration in reindeer meat, about 2500 Bq/kg fresh weight, was found in 1965 and thereafter decreased to about 300 Bq/kg fresh weight in the winter before the Chernobyl accident. After the accident the mean 137Cs-concentration in reindeer meat from the 1986-87 slaughtering period was 720 Bq/kg fresh weight and in 1987-88, 630 Bq/kg fresh weight.
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