Journal of environmental radioactivity

Publisher: Elsevier


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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The studies were conducted in the territory contaminated by (90)Sr with groundwater inflow as a result of leakage from the near-surface trench-type radioactive waste storage. The vertical soil (90)Sr distribution up to the depth of 2-3 m is analyzed. The area of radioactive contamination to be calculated with a value which exceeds the minimum significant activity 1 kBq/kg for the tested soil layers: the contaminated area for the 0-5 cm soil layer amounted to 1800 ± 85 m(2), for the 5-10 cm soil layer amounted to 300 ± 12 m(2), for the 10-15 cm soil layer amounted to 180 ± 10 m(2). It is found that (90)Sr accumulation proceeds in a natural sorption geochemical barrier of the marshy terrace near flood plain. The exposure doses for terrestrial mollusks Bradybaena fruticum are presented. The excess (90)Sr interference level was registered both in the ground and surface water during winter and summer low-water periods and autumn heavy rains.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014; 135C:128-134.
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    ABSTRACT: Pertechnetate was slowly reduced in a natural, untreated arid sediment under anaerobic conditions (0.02nmolg(-1)h(-1)), which could occur in low permeability zones in the field, most of which was quickly oxidized. A small portion of the surface Tc may be incorporated into slowly dissolving surface phases, so was not readily oxidized/remobilized into pore water. In contrast, pertechnetate reduction in an anaerobic sediment containing adsorbed ferrous iron as the reductant was rapid (15-600nmolg(-1)h(-1)), and nearly all (96-98%) was rapidly oxidized/remobilized (2.6-6.8nmolg(-1)h(-1)) within hours. Tc reduction in an anaerobic sediment containing 0.5-10mM sulfide showed a relatively slow reduction rate (0.01-0.03nmolg(-1)h(-1)) that was similar to observations in the natural sediment. Pertechnetate infiltration into sediment with a highly alkaline water resulted in rapid reduction (0.07-0.2nmolg(-1)h(-1)) from ferrous iron released during biotite or magnetite dissolution. Oxidation of NaOH-treated sediments resulted in slow Tc oxidation (∼0.05nmolg(-1)h(-1)) of a small fraction of the surface Tc (13-23%). The Tc remaining on the surface was Tc(IV) (by XANES), and autoradiography and elemental maps of Tc (by electron microprobe) showed Tc was present associated with specific minerals, rather than being evenly distributed on the surface. Dissolution of quartz, montmorillonite, muscovite, and kaolinite also occurred in the alkaline water, resulting in significant aqueous silica and aluminum. Over time, aluminosilicates, cancrinite, zeolite and sodalite were precipitating. These precipitates may be coating surface Tc(IV) phases, limiting reoxidation.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Standard procedures for the measurement of tritium in water samples often require distillation of an appropriate sample aliquot. This distillation process may result in a fractionation of tritiated water and regular light water due to the vapor pressure isotope effect, introducing either a bias or an additional contribution to the total tritium measurement uncertainty. The current study investigates the relative change in vapor pressure isotope effect in the course of the distillation process, distinguishing it from and extending previously published measurements. The separation factor as a quantitative measure of the vapor pressure isotope effect is found to assume values of 1.04 ± 0.036, 1.05 ± 0.026, and 1.07 ± 0.038, depending on the vigor of the boiling process during distillation of the sample. A lower heat setting in the experimental setup, and therefore a less vigorous boiling process, results in a larger value for the separation factor. For a tritium measurement in water samples where the first 5 mL are discarded, the tritium concentration could be underestimated by 4-7%.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014; 135C:113-119.
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    ABSTRACT: The analysis of the diffusion of radioisotopes in stagnant water in saturated porous media is important to validate the performance of barrier systems used in radioactive repositories. In this work a methodology is developed to determine the radioisotope concentration in a two-reservoir configuration: a saturated porous medium with stagnant water is surrounded by two reservoirs. The concentrations are obtained for all the radioisotopes of the decay chain using the concept of overvalued concentration. A methodology, based on the variable separation method, is proposed for the solution of the transport equation. The novelty of the proposed methodology involves the factorization of the overvalued concentration in two factors: one that describes the diffusion without decay and another one that describes the decay without diffusion. It is possible with the proposed methodology to determine the required time to obtain equal injective and diffusive concentrations in reservoirs. In fact, this time is inversely proportional to the diffusion coefficient. In addition, the proposed methodology allows finding the required time to get a linear and constant space distribution of the concentration in porous mediums. This time is inversely proportional to the diffusion coefficient. In order to validate the proposed methodology, the distributions in the radioisotope concentrations are compared with other experimental and numerical works.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014; 135C:100-107.
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    ABSTRACT: Coal fired thermal power contributes 70% of power in India. Coal fired power generation results in huge amounts of fly ash and bottom ash of varying properties. Coal, which contains the naturally occurring radionuclides, on burning results in enrichment of these radionuclides in the ashes. In the present study, coal, bottom ash and fly ash samples collected from six coal-fired power plants in India were measured for (210)Po using alpha spectrometry and for natural U, (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K by an HPGe γ-ray spectrometer. (210)Po in fly ash ranged from 25.7 to 70 Bq/kg with a mean value of 40.5 Bq/kg. The range and mean activities of (238)U, (226)Ra, (232)Th, (40)K in fly ash were 38.5-101 (78.1), 60-105.7 (79), 20-125 (61.7) and 43.6-200 (100) Bq/kg respectively. Fly ash and bottom ash contains two to five times more natural radionuclides than feed coal. The results were compared with the available data from earlier studies in other countries. The effect of particle size on enrichment factor of the nuclides in fly ash was studied. (210)Po showed the largest size dependence with its concentration favoring the smaller particle size while (232)Th showed least size dependence. (238)U and (226)Ra showed behavior intermediate to that of (210)Po and (232)Th. Also the correlation between sulfur content of the feed coal and activity of (210)Po was investigated. Increased sulfur content in feed coal enhanced enrichment of (210)Po in ash.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Wolves, lynx and wolverines are on the top of the food-chain in northern Scandinavia and Finland. (210)Po and (137)Cs have been analysed in samples of liver, kidney and muscle from 28 wolves from Sweden. In addition blood samples were taken from 27 wolves. In 9 of the wolves, samples of muscle, liver and blood were analysed for (210)Po. Samples of liver and muscle were collected from 16 lynx and 16 wolverines from Norway. The liver samples were analysed for (210)Po and (137)Cs. Only (137)Cs analyses were carried out for the muscle samples. The wolves were collected during the winter 2010 and 2011, while the samples for lynx and wolverines were all from 2011. The activity concentrations of (210)Po in wolves were higher for liver (range 20-523 Bq kg(-1) d.w.) and kidney (range 24-942 Bq kg(-1) d.w.) than muscle (range 1-43 Bq kg(-1) d.w.) and blood (range 2-54 Bq kg(-1) d.w.). Activity ratios, (210)Po/(210)Pb, in wolf samples of muscle, liver and blood were in the ranges 2-77, 9-56 and 2-54. Using a wet weight ratio of 3.8 the maximal absorbed dose from (210)Po to wolf liver was estimated to 3500 μGy per year. Compared to wolf, the ranges of (210)Po in liver samples were lower in lynx (range 22-211 Bq kg(-1) d.w.) and wolverine (range16-160 Bq kg(-1) d.w.). Concentration of (137)Cs in wolf samples of muscle, liver, kidney and blood were in the ranges 70-8410 Bq kg(-1) d.w., 36-4050 Bq kg(-1) d.w., 31-3453 Bq kg(-1) d.w. and 4-959 Bq kg(-1) d.w., respectively. (137)Cs in lynx muscle and liver samples were in the ranges 44-13393 Bq kg(-1) d.w. and 125-10260 Bq kg(-1) d.w. The corresponding values for (137)Cs in wolverine were 22-3405 Bq kg(-1) d.w. for liver and 53-4780 Bq kg(-1) d.w. for muscle. The maximal absorbed dose from (137)Cs to lynx was estimated to 3000 μGy per year.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The International Monitoring System (IMS) of the Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty monitors the atmosphere for radioactive xenon leaking from underground nuclear explosions. Emissions from medical isotope production represent a challenging background signal when determining whether measured radioxenon in the atmosphere is associated with a nuclear explosion prohibited by the treaty. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) operates a reactor and medical isotope production facility in Lucas Heights, Australia. This study uses two years of release data from the ANSTO medical isotope production facility and (133)Xe data from three IMS sampling locations to estimate the annual releases of (133)Xe from medical isotope production facilities in Argentina, South Africa, and Indonesia. Atmospheric dilution factors derived from a global atmospheric transport model were used in an optimization scheme to estimate annual release values by facility. The annual releases of about 6.8 × 10(14) Bq from the ANSTO medical isotope production facility are in good agreement with the sampled concentrations at these three IMS sampling locations. Annual release estimates for the facility in South Africa vary from 2.2 × 10(16) to 2.4 × 10(16) Bq, estimates for the facility in Indonesia vary from 9.2 × 10(13) to 3.7 × 10(14) Bq and estimates for the facility in Argentina range from 4.5 × 10(12) to 9.5 × 10(12) Bq.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014; 135C:94-99.
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    ABSTRACT: The Tohoku hynobiid salamanders, Hynobius lichenatus, were chronically irradiated with γ-rays from embryonic to juvenile stages for 450 days. At 490 μGy h(-1) or lower dose rates, growth and survival were not significantly affected by irradiation, and any morphological aberrations and histological damages were not observed. At 4600 μGy h(-1), growth was severely inhibited, and all the individuals died mostly at the juvenile stage. Chronic LD50 was 42 Gy as a total dose. In the liver, the number of hematopoietic cells was significantly reduced in the living juveniles, and these cells disappeared in the dead juveniles. In the spleen, mature lymphocytes were depleted in the living larvae, and almost all the heamtopoietic cells disappeared in the dead juveniles. These results suggest that this salamander died due to acute radiation syndrome, i.e., hematopoietic damage and subsequent sepsis caused by immune depression. The death would be also attributed to skin damage inducing infection. At 18,000 μGy h(-1), morphological aberrations and severe growth inhibition were observed. All the individuals died at the larval stage due to a multiple organ failure. Chronic LD50 was 28 Gy as a total dose. Assuming that chronic LD50 was 42 Gy at lower dose rates than 4600 μGy h(-1), a chronic median lethal dose rate could be estimated to be <340 μGy h(-1) for the whole life (>14 years). These results suggest that, among guidance dose rates, i.e., 4-400 μGy h(-1), proposed by various organisations and research programmes for protection of amphibians and taxonomic groups or ecosystems including amphibians, most of them would protect this salamander but the highest value may not on the whole life scale.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 05/2014; 135C:84-92.
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    ABSTRACT: The study encompassed experimental mass spectrometric and theoretical quantum chemical studies on adsorption of uranium species in different oxidation states of the metal ion, and oxides of UxOy(n+) type, where x = 1 or 3, y = 2 or 8, and n = 0, 1 or 2 onto nanosize-particles of saltrock oxides MO (M = Mg(II), Ca(II), Ni(II), Co(II), Sr(II) or Ba(II)), M2Oy (M = Au(III) or Ag(I), y = 3 or 1) silicates 3Al2O3.2SiO2, natural kaolinite (Al2O2·2SiO2·2H2O), illite (K0.78Ca0.02Na0.02(Mg0.34Al1.69Fe(III)0.02)[Si3.35Al0.65]O10(OH)2·nH2O), CaSiO3, 3MgO·4SiO2,H2O, and M(1)M(2)(SiO4)X2 (M(1) = M(2) = Al or M(1) = K, M(2) = Al, X = F or Cl), respectively. The UV-MALDI-Orbitrap mass spectrometry was utilized in solid-state and semi-liquid colloidal state, involving the laser ablation at λex = 337.2 nm. The theoretical modeling and experimental design was based on chemical-, physico-chemical, physical and biological processes involving uranium species under environmental conditions. Therefore, the results reported are crucial for quality control and monitoring programs for assessment of radionuclide migration. They impact significantly the methodology for evaluation of human health risk from radioactive contamination. The study has importance for understanding the coordination and red-ox chemistry of uranium compounds as well. Due to the double nature of uranium between rare element and superconductivity like materials as well as variety of oxidation states ∈ (+1)-(+6), the there remain challenging areas for theoretical and experimental research, which are of significant importance for management of nuclear fuel cycles and waste storage.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 04/2014; 135C:75-83.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes a new method for determining the basic parameters of soil - diffusion and emanation coefficients related to the transfer of radon in the soil matrix, which are very useful for testing models, based on diffusion and characteristics of various soil matrices regarding the dangers of radon. The method is based on the measurement of radon in soil air on two small depths, differing twice. The paper presents the results of the determination of the parameters for covering loams and clays of Tomsk (Russian Federation), obtained by this method.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 04/2014; 135C:63-66.
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    ABSTRACT: A terrestrial gamma radiation survey for the state of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya was conducted to obtain baseline data for environmental radiological health practices. Based on soil type, geological background and information from airborne survey maps, 95 survey points statistically representing the study area were determined. The measured doses varied according to geological background and soil types. They ranged from 17 nGy h(-1) to 500 nGy h(-1). The mean terrestrial gamma dose rate in air above the ground was 182 ± 81 nGy h(-1). This is two times higher than the average dose rate of terrestrial gamma radiation in Malaysia which is 92 nGy h(-1) (UNSCEAR 2000). An isodose map was produced to represent exposure rate from natural sources of terrestrial gamma radiation.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 04/2014; 135C:67-74.
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    ABSTRACT: The fate of contaminant transport is often estimated using the distribution (partition) coefficient, Kd. It is a measure of sorption of contaminants to soil. As Kd is element, soil type and ground water dependent, chemical characterization of soil and ground water of the particular site is essential. In this study, soil and ground water samples from different locations around India were collected. The soil samples were physically characterized and pH, CaCO3, cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic matter and organic carbon were determined. Equilibration time for lead and (210)Po were estimated with respect to contact time and were found to be 28 and 72 h respectively. The Kd of lead varied from 6700 to 31,000 L/kg with a geometric mean of 15,200 L/kg, and for (210)Po from 1400 to 8700 L/kg with a geometric mean of 3700 L/kg.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The performance of three different backpack-mounted γ-radiation survey systems has been investigated. The systems are based on a LaBr3:Ce detector and a NaI(Tl) detector both with active volume dimensions of 76.2 mm in diameter and 76.2 mm length and a 123% relative efficiency HPGe detector. The detection limits of the systems were tested in a controlled outdoor environment in Sweden, followed by field tests of the HPGe- and LaBr3:Ce-based systems at the site of a radioactive waste repository in Georgia (in the Caucasus region of Eurasia). The results showed that the high efficiency HPGe detector performed significantly better than similar sized LaBr3:Ce and NaI(Tl) detectors, however, the HPGe detector was significantly heavier than the other systems. The use of different analysis methods revealed that creating maps of the survey area was the best method for offline analysis of survey data collected from a large area. Using off-site personnel for analysis of the data proved to be beneficial.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 04/2014; 135C:54-62.
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    ABSTRACT: This study refers to background activity concentrations of (238)U, (226)Ra, (232)Th, (208)Tl, (40)K, and (137)Cs in soil and plants of the Kaštela Bay, Croatia and related plant-soil concentration ratios (CR's). Fourteen different Mediterranean plant species growing in natural conditions have been included and were divided into three major plant groups (grasses and herbs, shrub, tree). Radionuclide activity concentrations were determined by means of high resolution gamma-ray spectrometry. Soil parameters (pH, electrical conductivity, and organic matter content) were also analysed. CR ranges were within one order of magnitude for (40)K (10(-2)-10(-1)), (238)U, and (226)Ra (10(-3)-10(-2)), and two orders of magnitude for (232)Th, (208)Tl, and (137)Cs (10(-4)-10(-2)). There was no statistical difference between the plant groups in radionuclide uptake. Overall statistical analyses indicated a moderate negative relationship between soil concentrations and CR values, and no relationship with soil parameters, except a negative one for (137)Cs. Comparison with literature showed more agreement with studies that were done in the Mediterranean than with ICRP and IAEA databases. Our data not only describe the natural radioactivity of the Bay, but also create a dataset that could be relevant for further radioecological assessments of the Kaštela Bay.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 04/2014; 135C:36-43.
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    ABSTRACT: Scoping epidemiology studies performed by researchers from the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute revealed an excess prevalence of thyroid nodules and an increased incidence of thyroid cancer among residents of Ozersk, Russia, who were born in the early 1950s. Ozersk is located about 5 km from the facilities where the Mayak Production Association produced nuclear materials for the Russian weapons program. Reactor operations began in June 1948 and chemical separation of plutonium from irradiated fuel began in February 1949. The U.S.-Russia Joint Coordinating Committee on Radiation Effects Research conducted a series of projects over a 10-year period to assess the radiation risks in the Southern Urals. This paper uses data collected under Committee projects to present examples of reconstructed time-dependent thyroid doses to reference individuals living in Ozersk from (131)I released to the atmosphere for all relevant exposure pathways. Between 3.22 × 10(16) and 4.31 × 10(16) Bq of (131)I may have been released during the 1948-1972 time period, and a best estimate is 3.76 × 10(16) Bq. In general, younger children incur greater thyroid doses from (131)I than adults. A child born in 1947 is estimated to have received a cumulative thyroid dose of 2.3 Gy for 1948-1972, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.51-7.3 Gy. Annual doses were the highest in 1949 and a child who was 5 years old in 1949 is estimated to have a received an annual thyroid dose of 0.93 Gy with a 95% confidence interval of 0.19-3.5 Gy.
    Journal of environmental radioactivity 04/2014; 135C:44-53.

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