[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the last decade a number of models and approaches have been developed for the estimation of the exposure of non-human biota to ionising radiations. In some countries these are now being used in regulatory assessments. However, to date there has been no attempt to compare the outputs of the different models used. This paper presents the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency's EMRAS Biota Working Group which compares the predictions of a number of such models in model-model and model-data inter-comparisons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paper presents the current international system for the protection of the public against environmental radioactivity. The protection system applies to all the three human exposure situations, i.e., planned, emergency and existing exposures. Radiation protection is a developing scientific and practical discipline and some of the areas in public radiation protection and protection of the environment that are in need of further elaboration are identified in the paper.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several United Nations organizations sought to dispel the uncertainties and controversy that still exist concerning the effects of the Chernobyl accident. A Chernobyl Forum of international expertise was established to reach consensus on the environmental consequences and health effects attributable to radiation exposure arising from the accident. This review is a synopsis of the subgroup that examined the radiological effects to nonhuman biota within the 30-km Exclusion Zone. The response of biota to Chernobyl irradiation was a complex interaction among radiation dose, dose rate, temporal and spatial variation, varying radiation sensitivities of the different taxons, and indirect effects from other events. The radiation-induced effects to plants and animals within the 30-km Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl can be framed in three broad time periods relative to the accident: an intense exposure period during the first 30 d following the accident of 26 April 1986; a second phase that extended through the first year of exposure during which time the short-lived radionuclides decayed and longer-lived radionuclides were transported to different components of the environment by physical, chemical and biological processes; and the third and continuing long-term phase of chronic exposure with dose rates<1% of the initial values. The doses accumulated, and the observed effects on plants, soil invertebrates, terrestrial vertebrates and fish are summarized for each time period. Physiological and genetic effects on biota, as well as the indirect effects on wildlife of removing humans from the Chernobyl area, are placed in context of what was known about radioecological effects prior to the accident.
Health Physics 12/2007; 93(5):427-40. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000281179.03443.2e · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 was the most severe in the history of the nuclear industry, causing a huge release of radionuclides over large areas of Europe. The recently completed Chernobyl Forum concluded that after a number of years, along with reduction of radiation levels and accumulation of humanitarian consequences, severe social and economic depression of the affected regions and associated psychological problems of the general public and the workers had become the most significant problem to be addressed by the authorities. The majority of the >600,000 emergency and recovery operation workers and five million residents of the contaminated areas in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine received relatively minor radiation doses which are comparable with the natural background levels. An exception is a cohort of several hundred emergency workers who received high radiation doses and of whom 28 persons died in 1986 due to acute radiation sickness. Apart from the dramatic increase in thyroid cancer incidence among those exposed to radioiodine at a young age and some increase of leukemia in the most exposed workers, there is no clearly demonstrated increase in the somatic diseases due to radiation. There was, however, an increase in psychological problems among the affected population, compounded by the social disruption that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union. Despite the unprecedented scale of the Chernobyl accident, its consequences on the health of people are far less severe than those of the atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Studying the consequences of the Chernobyl accident has made an invaluable scientific contribution to the development of nuclear safety, radioecology, radiation medicine and protection, and also the social sciences. The Chernobyl accident initiated the global nuclear and radiation safety regime.
Health Physics 12/2007; 93(5):383-409. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000282109.20364.37 · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wide range of different countermeasures has been used to mitigate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident for agriculture in affected regions in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The paper comprehensively brings together key data on countermeasure application over twenty years for all three countries and critically evaluates the response to the accident with respect to agriculture. The extents of countermeasures implementation in various periods following the ChNPP accident are documented. Examples of best practices and drawbacks in remediation of affected areas are identified. Data on the effectiveness of agricultural countermeasures have been evaluated and the impact of countermeasures implementation to mitigate consequences of the accident has been assessed for the period 1986-2006. Implementation of agricultural countermeasures averted 30-40% of the internal collective dose that would have been received by the residents of affected regions without the use of countermeasures. The current situation in agriculture of areas subjected to contamination following the Chernobyl accident is described. Current and future needs for remediation, including a consideration of various strategies of rehabilitation of affected areas are presented.
Science of The Total Environment 10/2007; 383(1-3):1-24. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.05.011 · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current doses arising from external and internal pathways have been estimated for the residents of two villages, Muslumovo and Brodokalmak, alongside the Techa River, which was contaminated by radioactive releases from the Mayak production facility. The dose estimates are based on numerous environmental measurements supplemented by further human whole body measurements and studies on occupational and dietary habits of Slavic and Turkish ethnic groups. Estimated doses arise mainly from use of the contaminated floodplains alongside the Techa River. The current average annual effective dose attributable to Cs and Sr in the environment, under conditions where restrictions on some river-related activities are in place, may exceed the Russian national action level of 1 mSv only in the hypothetical critical group of herdsmen in Muslumovo. The dose to this critical group in Brodokalmak is assessed to be 3 times less than that in Muslumovo and 2 fold below the action level. The external and internal exposures give comparable contributions to the total dose in both settlements and population groups: 47% and 53% in Muslumovo and 40% and 60% in Brodokalmak, respectively. About one quarter to one half of the internal dose in adults arises from the intake of Sr. In order to avoid substantial increases in the dose received by Muslumovo residents, it is expedient to prolong the current policy of restriction of some river-related population activities in this village.
Health Physics 03/2007; 92(2):134-47. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000237599.92479.09 · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accident at the Chernobyl NPP in 1986 was the most severe in the history of the nuclear industry, causing a huge release of radionuclides over large areas of Europe. The recently completed Chernobyl Forum concluded that after a number of years, along with reduction of radiation levels and accumulation of humanitarian consequences, severe social and economic depression of the affected regions and associated psychological problems of the general public and the workers had become the most significant problem to be addressed by the authorities. The majority of the affected land is now safe for life and economic activities. However, in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and in some limited areas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine some restrictions on land-use should be retained for decades to come. Most of the 600,000 emergency and recovery operation workers and five million residents of the contaminated areas in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine received relatively minor radiation doses which are comparable with the natural background levels. Apart from the dramatic increase in thyroid cancer incidence among those exposed at a young age and some increase of leukaemia and solid cancer in most exposed workers, there is no clearly demonstrated increase in the somatic diseases due to radiation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The main pathways leading to exposure of members of the general public due to the Chernobyl accident were external exposure from radionuclides deposited on the ground and ingestion of contaminated terrestrial food products. The collective dose to the thyroid was nearly 1.5 million man Gy in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine with nearly half received by children and adolescents. The collective effective dose received in 1986-2005 by approximately five million residents living in the affected areas of the three countries was approximately 50,000 man Sv with approximately 40% from ingestion. That contribution might have been larger if countermeasures had not been applied. The main radionuclide contributing to both external and internal effective dose is 137Cs with smaller contributions of 134Cs and 90Sr and negligible contribution of transuranic elements. The major demonstrated radiation-caused health effect of the Chernobyl accident has been an elevated incidence of thyroid cancer in children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accident at the Chernobyl NPP (nuclear power plant) was the most serious ever to have occurred in the history of nuclear energy. The consumption of contaminated foodstuffs in affected areas was a significant source of irradiation for the population. A wide range of different countermeasures have been used to reduce exposure of people and to mitigate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident for agriculture in affected regions in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. This paper for the first time summarises key data on countermeasure application over twenty years for all three countries and describes key lessons learnt from this experience.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large releases of fission products into the Techa River, in the Southern Urals, occurred in 1950 and 1951, during the early years of operation of the Mayak Production Association (Mayak PA), which produced plutonium for nuclear weapons. Increases of leukemia and of solid cancers with radiation dose have been noted in the population of about 30,000 people who lived in the settlements downstream of the site of the radioactive releases; that population has been studied for several decades by Russian scientists, notably in the framework of cooperation with American and European scientists. The radiation doses are currently estimated by means of the Techa River Dosimetry System-2000 (TRDS-2000). Recently, a scientist from Mayak PA has suggested in several publications that the doses calculated using TRDS-2000 might be underestimated substantially. A special international Workshop, held in Moscow on 8-10 December 2003, aimed to resolve some of the pressing issues related to the determination of the external and internal doses received by the Techa River population and to give recommendations on the further development of methodologies used for dose reconstruction. The authors of this article were selected by the organizers of the Workshop to draw the conclusions of the meeting. They express the view that, while the dose reconstruction system TRDS-2000 is basically sound, additional work is needed and the results of any epidemiological studies making use of TRDS-2000 should be qualified as preliminary, pending resolution of several issues. The most important of these issues is the re-evaluation of the activities released, using additional information that could be obtained with the help of Mayak experts. Other specific suggestions aiming to improve the dose reconstruction methodology for the Techa River cohort, i.e., continued measurements of accumulated dose in environmental samples and human tissues, validation of external dose estimates with thermoluminescence measurements of bricks and with electron paramagnetic resonance measurements of teeth, estimation of individual doses instead of group doses, detailed account of the contributions to dose of medical examinations and of other releases from the Mayak complex, and careful assessment of the uncertainties, were made by the meeting participants.
Health Physics 03/2006; 90(2):97-113. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000175628.64637.8c · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The influence of agrochemical properties of forest soils and growth conditions on 137Cs aggregated transfer factors from soil to different species of forest mushrooms have been analysed. Statistically significant correlations between 137Cs soil to mushroom aggregated transfer factors and agrochemical soil properties have been revealed. The experimental data show that 137Cs aggregated transfer factors depend on the mushroom's trophic group, biological family, genus and species. They also strongly depend on forest soil properties and their values can be estimated with the use of multiple regression equations constructed from agrochemical soil parameters which most closely correlate with the 137Cs transfer parameters for particular mushroom groups.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data collected for 10 years following the Chernobyl accident in 1986 have provided a unique opportunity to test the reliability of computer models for contamination of terrestrial and aquatic environments. The Iput River scenario was used by the Dose Reconstruction Working Group of the BIOMASS (Biosphere Modelling and Assessment Methods) programme. The test area was one of the most highly contaminated areas in Russia following the accident, with an average contamination density of 137Cs of 800,000 Bq m-2 and localized contamination up to 1,500,000 Bq m-2, and a variety of countermeasures that were implemented in the test area had to be considered in the modelling exercise. Difficulties encountered during the exercise included averaging of data to account for uneven contamination of the test area, simulating the downward migration and changes in bioavailability of 137Cs in soil, and modelling the effectiveness of countermeasures. The accuracy of model predictions is dependent at least in part on the experience and judgment of the participant in interpretation of input information, selection of parameter values, and treatment of uncertainties.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper a compartment model of the highly vulnerable Arctic terrestrial food chain "lichen-reindeer-man" is outlined. Based upon an analysis of measured (137)Cs and (90)Sr contents in lichen and reindeer meat from 1961 up to 2001, site specific model parameters for two regions in north-western Arctic Russia and for Kautokeino municipality in Arctic Norway have been determined. The dynamics of radionuclide activity concentrations in the "lichen-reindeer-man" food chain for all areas was satisfactorily described by a double exponential function with short-term and long-term effective ecological half-lives between 1-2 and 10-12 years, respectively, for both (137)Cs and (90)Sr. Using parameter values derived from the model, life-time internal effective doses due to consumption of reindeer meat by reindeer-breeders after an assumed single pulse deposit of 1 kBq m(-2) of (137)Cs were estimated to be 11.4 mSv (Kola Peninsula), 5 mSv (Nenets Autonomous Area), and 2 mSv (Kautokeino, Norway). Differences in vulnerability to radiocaesium deposition were due to differences in transfer between lichen and reindeer and in diet between the three regions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two field expeditions in 1996 studied 137Cs intake patterns and its content in the bodies of adult residents from the village Kozhany in the Bryansk region, Russia, located on the shore of a drainless peat lake in an area subjected to significant radioactive contamination after the 1986 Chernobyl accident. The 137Cs contents in lake water and fish were two orders of magnitude greater than in local rivers and flow-through lakes, 10 years after Chernobyl radioactive contamination, and remain stable. The 137Cs content in lake fish and a mixture of forest mushrooms was between approximately 10-20 kBq/kg, which exceeded the temporary Russian permissible levels for these products by a factor of 20-40. Consumption of lake fish gave the main contribution to internal doses (40-50%) for Kozhany village inhabitants Simple countermeasures, such as Prussian blue doses for dairy cows and pre-boiling mushrooms and fish before cooking, halved the 137Cs internal dose to inhabitants, even 10 years after the radioactive fallout.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The average irradiation dose to the thyroid gland is estimated for the people living in 4105 populated points in the Bryanskaya, Tul'skaya, Orlovskaya, and Kaluzhskaya oblasts. The basic principles of the method used to reconstruct the dose are presented. The people living in Bryanskaya oblast have the highest irradiation dose to the thyroid gland: in children less than 3 yr old the individual dose reached 10 Gy; the average dose exceeded 2.5 Gy in 12 populated points. In children living in Bryanskaya oblast, for populated points with soil contamination density above 37 kBq/m2 the irradiation dose exceeded 0.05 Gy. The highest average irradiation dose to the thyroid gland in children living in Tul'skaya, Orlovskaya, and Kaluzhskaya oblasts is 0.3–1 Gy. The collective irradiation dose for the four most strongly contaminated oblasts is estimated to be as follows: Bryanskaya – 60, Tul'skaya – 20, Orlovskaya – 13, Kaluzhskaya – 3.5 thousandpeopleGy.
Atomic Energy 01/2004; 96(4):287-293. DOI:10.1023/B:ATEN.0000036000.61155.a0 · 0.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The method of processing and the results of measurements of 131I content in the thyroids of Russian people performed in May-June 1986 are presented. The contribution of radiation from Cs radionuclides in the human body was taken into account in the processing of measurement data with an SRP-68-01 device. The greatest individual 131I content was found in the thyroids of inhabitants of the Bryansk region, up to 250-350 kBq, and in the Tula and Orel regions, up to 100 kBq. The average 131I thyroid activity in the middle of May 1986 reached 80 kBq for inhabitants of some settlements in the Bryansk region, 5-8 kBq in the Tula region and 5 kBq in the Orel region.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An updated version of external dose modeling is presented with reference to the population in Russian areas contaminated due to the Chernobyl accident. An earlier version has been modified by applying a study time interval with a starting point immediately after radionuclide deposition (rather than 4 years after the accident as applied earlier) and by introducing an estimate of individual dose distributions. New input data to the model are the nuclide-specific composition of the deposit, additional data about migration of caesium in soil, time dependence of location factors and uncertainty distributions of all input parameters. Model results (i.e. effective dose-rates and accumulated effective doses) from external exposure for the rural and urban populations in contaminated areas of Russia during 100 years after the accident are presented. Radionuclide contributions to the dose during various time intervals after the accident have been estimated. The model has been validated by measurements of absorbed dose-rate in air during the first 30 days after the accident and by TLD measurements of individual external doses among inhabitants of contaminated rural settlements in the year 1993. Both the measurements and model show that the geometric mean of individual external doses is about 10% lower than the arithmetic mean and the upper bound of the 95% confidence range is larger by a factor of about 2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activity concentrations of 137Cs and 90Sr in samples of vegetation and natural food products collected in the Kola Peninsula in 1998 and 1999 indicate a very slow decrease in contamination levels during the last decade, mainly due to the physical decay of the radionuclides. The activity concentrations of 137Cs in reindeer meat decreased with a half-life of about 9 years. 137Cs in lichen, moss and fungi is significantly higher than in natural vegetation (grasses) and agricultural plants (potatoes). The activity concentrations of 137Cs in reindeer meat were two orders of magnitude higher than those in locally produced beef and pork. Consumption of reindeer meat, fish, mushrooms and berries constituted the main contribution to the internal dose from 137Cs and 90Sr for reindeer-breeders in the Lovozero area. The estimated committed doses due to 137Cs intake in this group were about 10 microSv per month in summer 1998 and 15 microSv per month in winter, 1999. There was good agreement between internal dose estimates based on intake assessment and whole body measurements. The population of Umba settlement, which is not involved in reindeer breeding, received individual committed doses due to 137Cs intake of about 0.5 microSv per month, about a factor of 20 less than the reindeer-breeders in Lovozero. In this case, the main contribution to the internal dose of the general population came from consumption the of 137Cs in mushrooms and forest berries. The contribution of 90Sr to the internal dose varied from 1% to 5% in the different population groups studied.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous discharges of radioactivity from the Mayak Production Association plant in the Urals have resulted in considerable radionuclide contamination of the Techa River, and consequent high radiation doses during the late 1940s and 1950s to residents of villages along the Techa river. The most contaminated villages close to the site were evacuated in the period 1954-1962. The objective of this recent study was to conduct a preliminary assessment of the current radioactive contamination of soil, vegetation and foodstuffs in the two remaining villages closest to the Mayak site, Muslyumovo and Brodokalmak. The highest contamination levels in soil were found in the floodplain at 5.5 MBq m(-2) for 137Cs and 1.0 MBq m(-2) for 90Sr. Radionuclide contamination in soil of the villages was much lower, but exceeded that expected from global fallout. Data from 1207 measurements of 137Cs in milk and 1180 for 90Sr in milk for the period 1992-1999 were collated. There was no change with time in the 90Sr or 137Cs activity concentration in milk over the measured period. There were significantly higher 137Cs activity concentrations in milk sampled during the housed winter period in Muslyumovo compared with the grazing summer period, but compared to that for Brodokalmak or for either settlement for 90Sr. The highest measured activity concentrations in food products of 137Cs and 90Sr were found in river fish, waterfowl, poultry and milk. The measured activity concentrations of 137Cs and 90Sr in some animal products were higher than that expected from soil and vegetation from fields and pasture in the villages (not including the floodplain) confirming that the highly contaminated floodplains are contributing to contamination of some animal products.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a large village, Veprin of the Bryansk region of Russia contaminated with radionuclides as a result of the Chernobyl accident, 137Cs concentration in food products of agricultural produce and natural origin was regularly measured, local inhabitants were polled on the composition of their diet, and the 137Cs content in their bodies was measured at the same time. These results were used as the basis for calculation of annual effective doses of internal exposure to inhabitants and for reconstruction of the dose during the entire period after the accident (1986-1996). The efficiency of countermeasures performed for reduction of the internal dose was assessed. The internal dose in inhabitants during the 10 years after the accident was shown to be reduced by countermeasures by a factor of 2, namely down to 35 mSv instead of the expected 70 mSv. The dose of external gamma radiation during the same time period is close to the obtained dose of internal exposure. The presence of peat and water-meadow soils in the vicinity of this village that are characterised by high transfer factors for radionuclides from soil to vegetation causes a high contribution of internal exposure to the total dose of population exposure. The contribution of natural products to the internal dose increased from 6% in 1987 increased to 25% in 1996. The individual content of 137Cs in the body of inhabitants reliably correlates with consumption of milk in the initial period after the accident and with consumption of forest mushrooms in the subsequent period.