[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Within the project "Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety" (EMRAS) organized by the IAEA in 2003 experimental data of (131)I measurements following the Chernobyl accident in the Plavsk district of Tula region, Russia were used to validate the calculations of some radioecological transfer models. Nine models participated in the inter-comparison. Levels of (137)Cs soil contamination in all the settlements and (131)I/(137)Cs isotopic ratios in the depositions in some locations were used as the main input information. 370 measurements of (131)I content in thyroid of townspeople and villagers, and 90 measurements of (131)I concentration in milk were used for validation of the model predictions. A remarkable improvement in models performance comparing with previous inter-comparison exercise was demonstrated. Predictions of the various models were within a factor of three relative to the observations, discrepancies between the estimates of average doses to thyroid produced by most participant not exceeded a factor of ten.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 09/2009; 101(1):8-15. · 3.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2003 IAEA launched the EMRAS Programme aiming at evaluating the predictive power of radiological models. The programme continued work of previous international radioecological modelling programmes and comprised several working groups focusing on different aspects of environmental modelling. The Iodine Working Group reassessed the impact of the release of 131I during the Chernobyl accident with the aim of comparing model predictions with environmental data and inter-comparing the model predictions. Measurement data and detailed geographic and demographic descriptions were available for three regions: Plavsk, Warsaw and Prague. As for the Prague Scenario, milk supply regions of three big dairies were chosen for the model validation. Apart from geographic, demographic and agricultural descriptions (e.g. gathering regions of the dairies, feeding regime), the modellers were provided with information on the weather conditions and measurement data of iodine contamination. The most important peculiarities of Prague Scenario were keeping milk cattle in sheds and a special feeding regime during May 1986. The modellers were asked to assess the 131I content in the thyroid of the local population and the resulting dose. The assessments were compared with measurement data. The results of these model calculations and their comparison with experimental data are presented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The studies undertaken by the 131I Working Group, part of the International Atomic Energy Agency's EMRAS (Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety) programme, were focused primarily on evaluating the predictive capability of environmental models. Particular emphasis was placed on applying models to evaluate the effectiveness of countermeasures.
Applied Radiation and Isotopes 07/2008; · 1.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In relation to the management of elevated discharges of radioactive materials from the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, two different types of notification level are proposed. They relate to discharges which are above normal but below those associated with an emergency. The first is technically based (reference level) while the second (reporting level) is mainly based on considerations of public concern. The actions expected to be implemented if either of the levels is exceeded are summarized.
Applied Radiation and Isotopes 05/2008; 66(11):1558-60. · 1.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The introduced method to determine the individual activities of the short-lived radon daughters in air is based on simultaneous
α- and β-counting of the sampled air collected on a filter. The measured curves of gross-α and gross-β intensities were decomposed
by sum of exponentials and the individual activities of the progenies were assessed. Furthermore, computer simulations were
carried out supplemented with aerosol measurements to describe the physical processes of radon progenies in air during the
experiments and to verify the suitability of the method.
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 01/2007; 272(1):69-74. · 1.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The BIOMOSA (BIOsphere MOdels for Safety Assessment of radioactive waste disposal) project was part of the EC fifth framework research programme. The main goal of this project was to improve the scientific basis for the application of biosphere models in the framework of long-term safety studies of radioactive waste disposal facilities and to enhance the confidence in using biosphere models for performance assessments. The study focused on the development and application of a generic biosphere tool BIOGEM (BIOsphere GEneric Model) using the IAEA BIOMASS reference biosphere methodology, and the comparison between BIOGEM and five site-specific biosphere models. The site-specific models and the generic model were applied to five typical locations in Europe, resulting in estimates of the annual effective individual doses to the critical groups and the ranking of the importance of the exposure pathways for each of the sites. Uncertainty in the results was also estimated by means of stochastic calculations based on variation of the site-specific parameter values. This paper describes the generic model and the deterministic and stochastic results obtained when it was applied to the five sites. Details of the site-specific models and the corresponding results are described in two companion papers. This paper also presents a comparison of the results between the generic model and site-specific models. In general, there was an acceptable agreement of the BIOGEM for both the deterministic and stochastic results with the results from the site-specific models.
Journal of Radiological Protection 07/2006; 26(2):161-87. · 1.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper describes the development and application of site-specific biosphere models that might be used for assessment of potential exposures in the framework of performance assessment studies of nuclear waste disposals. Model development follows the Reference Biosphere Methodology that has been set up in the framework of the BIOMASS study. In this paper, the application is to real sites at five European locations for which environmental and agricultural conditions have been described and characterised. For each of the sites a biosphere model has been developed specifically assuming a release of radionuclides to waters that are used by humans, for example as drinking water for humans and cattle and as irrigation water. Among the ingestion pathways, the intakes of drinking water, cereals, leafy vegetables, potatoes, milk, beef and freshwater fish are included in all models. Annual individual doses were calculated, and uncertainties in the results were estimated by means of stochastic calculations. To enable a comparison, all results were normalised to an activity concentration in groundwater of 1 Bq m(-3) for each of the radionuclides considered ((36)Cl, (79)Se, (99)Tc, (129)I, (135)Cs, (226)Ra, (231)Pa, (230)Th, (237)Np, (239)Pu, and (238)U), i.e. those that are usually most relevant in performance assessment studies of nuclear waste disposals. Although the results do not give answers in absolute terms on potential future exposures, they indicate the spectrum of exposures that might occur in different environments and specify the interaction of environmental conditions, human habits and potential exposure.
Journal of Radiological Protection 01/2006; 25(4):343-73. · 1.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the framework of the BioMoSA project for the development of biosphere assessment models for radioactive waste disposal the Reference Biosphere Methodology developed in the IAEA programme BIOMASS was applied to five locations, situated in different European countries. Specific biosphere models were applied to assess the hypothetical contamination of a range of agricultural and environmental pathways and the dose to individuals, following contamination of well water. The results of these site-specific models developed by the different BioMoSA partners, and the individual normalised dose to the exposure groups were compared against each other. Ingestion of drinking water, fruit and vegetables were found to be among the most important pathways for almost all radionuclides. Stochastic calculations revealed that consumption habits, transfer factors, irrigation rates and distribution coefficients (Kd(s)) were the most important parameters that influence the end results. Variations in the confidence intervals were found to be higher for sorbing elements (e.g. (36)Cl, (237)Np, (99)Tc, (238)U, (129)I) than for mobile elements (e.g. (226)Ra, (79)Se, (135)Cs, (231)Pa, (239)Pu). The influence of daughter products, for which the distribution into the biosphere was calculated individually, was also shown to be important. This paper gives a brief overview of the deterministic and stochastic modelling results and the parameter sensitivity. A screening methodology was introduced to identify the most important pathways, simplify a generic biosphere tool and refine the existing models.
Journal of Radiological Protection 01/2006; 25(4):375-91. · 1.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental assessment models are used as decision-aiding tools in the selection of remediation options for radioactively contaminated sites. In most cases, the effectiveness of the remedial actions in terms of dose savings cannot be demonstrated directly, but can be established with the help of environmental assessment models, through the assessment of future radiological impacts. It should be emphasized that, given the complexity of the processes involved and our current understanding of how they operate, these models are simplified descriptions of the behaviour of radionuclides in the environment and therefore imperfect. One way of testing and improving the reliability of the models is to compare their predictions with real data and/or the predictions of other models. Within the framework of the Remediation Assessment Working Group (RAWG) of the BIOMASS (BIOsphere Modelling and ASSessment) programme coordinated by IAEA, two scenarios were constructed and applied to test the reliability of environmental assessment models when remedial actions are involved. As a test site, an area of approximately 100 ha contaminated by the discharges of an old radium extraction plant in Olen (Belgium) has been considered. In the first scenario, a real situation was evaluated and model predictions were compared with measured data. In the second scenario the model predictions for specific hypothetical but realistic situations were compared. Most of the biosphere models were not developed to assess the performance of remedial actions and had to be modified for this purpose. It was demonstrated clearly that the modeller's experience and familiarity with the mathematical model, the site and with the scenario play a very important role in the outcome of the model calculations. More model testing studies, preferably for real situations, are needed in order to improve the models and modelling methods and to expand the areas in which the models are applicable.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 02/2005; 84(2):245-58. · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inhalation dose due to radon and its progenies could be averted by ventilation in dwellings; however, on the other hand the increased ventilation augments the heating cost. Therefore a cost-benefit analysis could contribute to optimise the ventilation rate. In our current work we applied our former defined parameters of the optimising procedure to assess the optimised ventilation and radon concentration in dwellings with average parameters. To assess the inhalation dose rates the time-dependent concentrations of all the progenies were calculated in case of periodic and continuous ventilation as well, at three different radon entry rates (5, 10, 20kBqh(-1)). The optimal ventilation rates in case of continuous ventilation are 0.22, 0.40 and 0.66h(-1), respectively. By these conditions the optimal radon concentration takes 160-210Bqm(-3). According to the more detailed analysis the periodic ventilation gives, in general, a better solution than the continuous one. The Monte Carlo simulations provided a large uncertainty; therefore, before the practical application of the results the uncertainty should be decreased taken into account the local conditions.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 02/2005; 79(2):223-30. · 2.12 Impact Factor
[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.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 02/2005; 84(2):225-44. · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Hanford test scenario described an accidental release of 131I to the environment from the Hanford Purex Chemical Separations Plant in September 1963. Based on monitoring data collected after the release, this scenario was used by the Dose Reconstruction Working Group of BIOMASS to test models typically used in dose reconstructions. The primary exposure pathway in terms of contribution to human doses was ingestion of contaminated milk and vegetables. Predicted mean doses to the thyroid of reference individuals from ingestion of 131I ranged from 0.0001 to 0.8 mSv. For one location, predicted doses to the thyroids of two children with high milk consumption ranged from 0.006 to 2 mSv. The predicted deposition at any given location varied among participants by a factor of 5-80. The exercise provided an opportunity for comparison of assessment methods and conceptual approaches, testing model predictions against measurements, and identifying the most important contributors to uncertainty in the assessment result. Key factors affecting predictions included the approach to handling incomplete data, interpretation of input information, selection of parameter values, adjustment of models for site-specific conditions, and treatment of uncertainties.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 02/2005; 84(2):211-24. · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The BioMoSA (Biosphere Models for Safety Assessment of Radioactive Waste Disposal) project was part of the EC fifth framework research program. The main goal of this project was the improvement of the scientific basis for the application of biosphere models in the framework of long-term safety studies of radioactive waste disposal facilities. Another aim of the project was to provide operators and regulatory bodies with guidelines for performance assessments of repository systems. The study focused on the development and application of site-specific models and a generic biosphere tool BIOGEM (BIOsphere GEneric Model), using the experience from National programs and the IAEA BIOMASS reference biosphere methodology. The models were applied to 5 typical locations in Europe, resulting in estimates of the annual individual doses to the critical groups and the ranking of the importance of the pathways for each of the sites. The results of the site-specific and generic models were then compared. Uncertainty in the results was estimated by means of stochastic calculations which allowed a comparison of the overall model uncertainty with the variability across the different sites considered.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The monetary value of the unit averted collective dose at an individual reference dose (as alpha(base)-value) and the aversion against the high individual exposure were assessed by the WTP (Willingness To Pay) method. The original questionnaire and methodology were developed by the CEPN, France, for specialists in the nuclear field. Modifications to the questionnaire were introduced in 2000 to take into account the Hungarian aspects. In 2001, the questionnaire was further modified for use with the public in Hungary. The present paper refers to the results from the most recent studies on public exposure. The questionnaire was provided to 118 persons living in four different regions of Hungary, one near the U-mining site, one near a nuclear power plant, and two others far away from nuclear affected sites. Conversion of the questionnaire to be understandable by the public involved intensive modifications both in form and content. Only 83 to 86 respondents provided usable answers to questions related to the monetary value of the averted dose and the aversion coefficient. The alpha(base)-value was determined from the statistical value of life assessed by the willingness to pay of the respondents for the risk of fatal cancer averted. The mathematical form used to assess the aversion coefficient was a power function with respect to the individual dose, as already introduced in our earlier papers. The advantage of the power function is that the aversion coefficient is independent of the individual reference dose. According to the current results, the mean value of the lognormally distributed alpha-value at the individual reference dose (alpha(base)) takes 10,000 US dollars (person Sv)(-1) with large confidence bounds. The alpha(base)-value is about 50% higher than the alpha(base)-value estimated among the radiation specialists in Hungary, but 5-10 times less than the values obtained in highly developed countries like in France. The normally distributed aversion coefficient for the public assessed to 2.51 +/- 0.56 and is 30% higher than the value obtained by the Hungarian specialists in the nuclear field. Due to the high sensitivity of the alpha-value to the variation of individual reference dose (d0) the derivation of a generic d0-value will depend upon the circumstances of optimization.
Health Physics 06/2003; 84(5):594-8. · 1.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The key elements of the optimization practice as applied to radiation protection are the monetary value of the averted person-sievert and the aversion coefficient. Determination of the monetary value of the unit averted person-sievert (as alpha(base)-parameter) in Hungary was presented in a previous paper. The estimation of this parameter was carried out by the willingness-to-pay (WTP) method associated with averted occupational exposure (at the NPP Paks/Hungary). The aversion coefficient predicts the importance of dose reduction based on the magnitude of the dose. The assessment of the aversion coefficient occurred also by means of the WTP method in the spring of 2000. Its value has been estimated on the basis of individual preferences concerning the distribution of individual exposure in nuclear safety. The results achieved by the WTP among the radiation specialists from the NPP Paks, Hungary, assessed a value for the aversion coefficient of 1.86 over the whole range of individual exposure levels. This value is a bit greater than the value obtained in France (1.7) and the higher coefficient expresses a higher priority to reduce the highest individual exposures.
Health Physics 07/2002; 82(6):825-30. · 1.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Concentration of the radionuclide 226Ra was determined in almost every type of bottled mineral water commercially available in Hungary. Determination of the radon coming from the radium dissolved in the water was used for activity measurement. As the results show, the 226Ra concentrations exceed the level of 100 mBq l(-1) in six cases out of the 28 types of mineral water investigated. In one case 3 Bq l(-1) was measured, which provides 0.3 mSv year(-1) committed effective dose for adults in the case of a consumption rate of 1 l day(-1). In soft drinks produced from mineral water a concentration of 2.6 Bq l(-1) was determined, which means 1.4 mSv year(-1) effective dose in the age group 12-17 years in the case of permanent daily drinking of 1 l of these beverages.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 02/2002; 62(3):235-40. · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paper presents results on model validation by field experiment for transport of 134Cs to strawberry. The transfer of 134Cs to herbaceous plants was investigated following a wet deposition after an acute release during 2000. Leaf-to-fruit, soil-to-fruit and direct fruit pathways were examined. The available meteorological and local soil information together with the experimental data were taken into account by the model RUVFRU. The processes are described by first order differential equations. In the case of foliar contamination scenarios measured and calculated results for fruit are in good agreement. However, the results of soil contamination scenarios provide large differences of up to three orders of magnitude between model predictions and experimental values for either fruit or other parts of the plant. The bias could be explained by the underestimation of the interception of the plant at the beginning of the season, in the soil contamination scenario. The model output permits prompt assessment of emergency situations and provides aid making decisions concerning mitigation of the consequences of the accident.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 02/2002; 61(3):319-29. · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The monetary value of the averted dose is a key element in the implementation of the optimization principle both in radiation praxis and intervention. The main concept of this principle is to select options so as to maintain exposures at a reasonable level. The feature of this concept is to look for the minimal total cost, i.e., the sum of the costs of protection and health detriment. In its publications, ICRP emphasized the need for developing models which also take into account the "subjective" aspects of health detriment in the optimization process, such as the perception of risk by individuals and the need to put more emphasis on equity in the distribution of individual doses. This paper proposes a modified alpha-value model based on CEPN's model (Centre d'Etude sur L'Evaluation de la Protection dans le Domaine Nucleaire) to put more emphasis on recently published considerations about the smaller effects of the portion of collective dose derived from small doses. The parameters of the monetary value of unit collective dose averted, which is a key element of this type of model, can be estimated by means of approaches like human capital (HC) and willingness to pay (WTP) from the point of view of economic theories. The present study summarizes the results achieved by WTP among the radiation specialists mainly from the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, Hungary. The aim of the effort was to determine the value of a statistical life and the monetary value of a unit person-sievert associated with averted occupational exposure due to ionizing radiation. To apply the WTP method, a questionnaire has been prepared on the basis of the one introduced by CEPN in the late 1990's. The investigations show that the value of US$6,200 person-Sv(-1) seems to be acceptable for the alphabase-value for the occupational situation in Hungary in 1999. WTP assessments should be applied with caution since the economic level of the country, the workplace surveyed, and the computational methods affect the results. In addition, achieving a high level safety culture must rely on international cooperation both from the theoretical and practical viewpoints, and international markets affect the associated costs. Therefore the monetary requirements cannot always be assessed solely on a national basis.
Health Physics 03/2001; 80(2):137-41. · 1.02 Impact Factor