J Vives I Batlle

Stockholm University, Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (67)117.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A Pinus sylvestris stand located in Mol, Belgium was studied for its content of six elements: Ca, K, Mg, Al, Cl and Mn. A fractionation of tree components was carried out into 8 classes (heart and sapwood, inner and outer bark, living branches, twigs and young/old needles) and their element contents were measured.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Ecological Modelling
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    ABSTRACT: We report an inter-comparison of eight models designed to predict the radiological exposure of radionuclides in marine biota. The models were required to simulate dynamically the uptake and turnover of radionuclides by marine organisms. Model predictions of radionuclide uptake and turnover using kinetic calculations based on biological half-life (TB1/2) and/or more complex metabolic modelling approaches were used to predict activity concentrations and, consequently, dose rates of (90)Sr, (131)I and (137)Cs to fish, crustaceans, macroalgae and molluscs under circumstances where the water concentrations are changing with time. For comparison, the ERICA Tool, a model commonly used in environmental assessment, and which uses equilibrium concentration ratios, was also used. As input to the models we used hydrodynamic forecasts of water and sediment activity concentrations using a simulated scenario reflecting the Fukushima accident releases. Although model variability is important, the intercomparison gives logical results, in that the dynamic models predict consistently a pattern of delayed rise of activity concentration in biota and slow decline instead of the instantaneous equilibrium with the activity concentration in seawater predicted by the ERICA Tool. The differences between ERICA and the dynamic models increase the shorter the TB1/2 becomes; however, there is significant variability between models, underpinned by parameter and methodological differences between them. The need to validate the dynamic models used in this intercomparison has been highlighted, particularly in regards to optimisation of the model biokinetic parameters.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we modelled population responses to chronic external gamma radiation in 12 laboratory species (including aquatic and soil invertebrates, fish and terrestrial mammals). Our aim was to compare radiosensitivity between individual and population endpoints and to examine how internationally proposed benchmarks for environmental radioprotection protected species against various risks at the population level. To do so, we used population matrix models, combining life history and chronic radiotoxicity data (derived from laboratory experiments and described in the literature and the FREDERICA database) to simulate changes in population endpoints (net reproductive rate R0, asymptotic population growth rate λ, equilibrium population size Neq) for a range of dose rates. Elasticity analyses of models showed that population responses differed depending on the affected individual endpoint (juvenile or adult survival, delay in maturity or reduction in fecundity), the considered population endpoint (R0, λ or Neq) and the life history of the studied species. Among population endpoints, net reproductive rate R0 showed the lowest EDR10 (effective dose rate inducing 10% effect) in all species, with values ranging from 26 μGy h(-1) in the mouse Mus musculus to 38,000 μGy h(-1) in the fish Oryzias latipes. For several species, EDR10 for population endpoints were lower than the lowest EDR10 for individual endpoints. Various population level risks, differing in severity for the population, were investigated. Population extinction (predicted when radiation effects caused population growth rate λ to decrease below 1, indicating that no population growth in the long term) was predicted for dose rates ranging from 2700 μGy h(-1) in fish to 12,000 μGy h(-1) in soil invertebrates. A milder risk, that population growth rate λ will be reduced by 10% of the reduction causing extinction, was predicted for dose rates ranging from 24 μGy h(-1) in mammals to 1800 μGy h(-1) in soil invertebrates. These predictions suggested that proposed reference benchmarks from the literature for different taxonomic groups protected all simulated species against population extinction. A generic reference benchmark of 10 μGy h(-1) protected all simulated species against 10% of the effect causing population extinction. Finally, a risk of pseudo-extinction was predicted from 2.0 μGy h(-1) in mammals to 970 μGy h(-1) in soil invertebrates, representing a slight but statistically significant population decline, the importance of which remains to be evaluated in natural settings.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Ecological Modelling
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    ABSTRACT: The equilibrium concentration ratio is typically the parameter used to estimate organism activity concentrations within wildlife dose assessment tools. Whilst this is assumed to be fit for purpose, there are scenarios such as accidental or irregular, fluctuating, releases from licensed facilities when this might not be the case. In such circumstances, the concentration ratio approach may under- or over-estimate radiation exposure depending upon the time since the release. To carrying out assessments for such releases, a dynamic approach is needed. The simplest and most practical option is representing the uptake and turnover processes by first-order kinetics, for which organism- and element-specific biological half-life data are required. In this paper we describe the development of a freely available international database of radionuclide biological half-life values. The database includes 1907 entries for terrestrial, freshwater, riparian and marine organisms. Biological half-life values are reported for 52 elements across a range of wildlife groups (marine = 9, freshwater = 10, terrestrial = 7 and riparian = 3 groups). Potential applications and limitations of the database are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
  • J Vives I Batlle · S R Jones · D Copplestone
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    ABSTRACT: A method is presented for estimating (41)Ar, (85,88)Kr and (131m,133)Xe dose rates to terrestrial wildlife without having to resort to comparisons with analogue radionuclides. The approach can be used to calculate the dose rates arising from external exposures to given ambient air concentrations of these isotopes. Dose conversion coefficient (DCC) values for a range of representative organisms are calculated, using a Monte Carlo approach to generate absorbed fractions based on representing animals as reference ellipsoid geometries. Plume immersion is the main component of the total DCC. DCC values calculated for a human-sized organism are compared with human dose conversion factors from ICRP Publication 119, demonstrating the consistency of the biota approach with that for humans. An example of application is provided for hypothetical nuclear power plant atmospheric discharges with associated exposures to birds and insects. In this example, the dose rates appear to be dominated by (133)Xe and (88)Kr, respectively. The biota considered would be protected from the effects of noble gas radiation from a population protection perspective. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
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    ABSTRACT: We will never have data to populate all of the potential radioecological modelling parameters required for wildlife assessments. Therefore, we need robust extrapolation approaches which allow us to make best use of our available knowledge. This paper reviews and, in some cases, develops, tests and validates some of the suggested extrapolation approaches. The concentration ratio (CRproduct-diet or CRwo-diet) is shown to be a generic (trans-species) parameter which should enable the more abundant data for farm animals to be applied to wild species. An allometric model for predicting the biological half-life of radionuclides in vertebrates is further tested and generally shown to perform acceptably. However, to fully exploit allometry we need to understand why some elements do not scale to expected values. For aquatic ecosystems, the relationship between log10(a) (a parameter from the allometric relationship for the organism-water concentration ratio) and log(Kd) presents a potential opportunity to estimate concentration ratios using Kd values. An alternative approach to the CRwo-media model proposed for estimating the transfer of radionuclides to freshwater fish is used to satisfactorily predict activity concentrations in fish of different species from three lakes. We recommend that this approach (REML modelling) be further investigated and developed for other radionuclides and across a wider range of organisms and ecosystems. Ecological stoichiometry shows potential as an extrapolation method in radioecology, either from one element to another or from one species to another. Although some of the approaches considered require further development and testing, we demonstrate the potential to significantly improve predictions of radionuclide transfer to wildlife by making better use of available data. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
  • J Vives I Batlle
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    ABSTRACT: This paper does not necessarily reflect the views of the International Commission on Radiological Protection.Radiation doses to marine biota near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been estimated for the immediate aftermath and subsequent period of the accident. Dose estimations using monitoring data have been complemented by means of dynamic transfer modelling, improving on the more traditional equilibrium transfer approach. Earlier assessments using equilibrium transfer models overestimated the exposures in the immediate aftermath of the accident, whereas dynamic transfer modelling brings them more in line with the doses calculated from monitored activity concentrations in the biota. On that basis, marine biota populations in the vicinity of Fukushima do not seem to be at significant risk. The situation in the late post-accident period shows a tendency for lower exposures, but radiocaesium in sediments and biota persists to this day, with some organisms inhabiting local hotspots. Little is known about how long radionuclides will continue to remain in the local environment, or the long-term effects on populations due to limited knowledge on the effects of chronic radiation exposures to marine organisms. Therefore, the marine environment at Fukushima needs further study. The Fukushima nuclear accident remains an ongoing problem for marine radioecology, requiring constant re-evaluation of the cumulative extent of contamination and effects on the environment for years to come. © The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Annals of the ICRP
  • Jordi Vives I Batlle
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    ABSTRACT: The dynamic model D-DAT was developed to study the dynamics of radionuclide uptake and turnover in biota and sediments in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima accident. This dynamics is determined by the interplay between the residence time of radionuclides in seawater/sediments and the biological half-lives of elimination by the biota. The model calculates time-variable activity concentration of 131I, 134Cs, 137Cs and 90Sr in seabed sediment, fish, crustaceans, molluscs and macroalgae from surrounding activity concentrations in seawater, with which to derive internal and external dose rates.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
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    ABSTRACT: Many wetlands support high biodiversity and are protected sites, but some are contaminated with radionuclides from routine or accidental releases from nuclear facilities. This radiation exposure needs to be assessed to demonstrate radiological protection of the environment. Existing biota dose models cover generic terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, not wetlands specifically. This paper, which was produced under IAEA's Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety (EMRAS) II programme, describes an evaluation of how models can be applied to radionuclide contaminated wetlands. Participants used combinations of aquatic and terrestrial model parameters to assess exposure. Results show the importance of occupancy factor and food source (aquatic or terrestrial) included. The influence of soil saturation conditions on external dose rates is also apparent. In general, terrestrial parameters provided acceptable predictions for wetland organisms. However, occasionally predictions varied by three orders of magnitude between assessors. Possible further developments for biota dose models and research needs are identified.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Environmental Pollution
  • Hildegarde Vandenhove · Jordi Vives I Batlle · Lieve Sweeck
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    ABSTRACT: The activities of the phosphate industry may lead to enhanced levels of naturally occurring radioactivity in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We performed a preliminary environmental risk assessment (ERA) of environmental contamination resulting from the activities of 5 phosphate fertiliser plants (located in Belgium, Spain, Syria, Egypt, Brazil), a phosphate-mine and a phosphate-export platform in a harbour (both located in Syria). These sites were selected because of the availability of information on concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides in the surrounding environments. Assessments were generally performed considering highest environmental concentrations reported in the studies. The ERICA Tool, operating in a Tier 2 assessment mode, was used to predict radiation dose rates and associated risk to the selected reference organisms using the ERICA default parameter setting. Reference organisms were those assigned as default by the ERICA Tool. Potential impact is expressed as a best estimate risk quotient (RQ) based on a radiation screening value of 10 μGy h(-1). If RQ ≤ 1, the environment is considered unlikely to be at risk and further radiological assessment is not deemed necessary. Except for one of the cases assessed, the best estimate RQ exceeded 1 for at least one of the reference organisms. Internal exposure covered for 90-100 % of the total dose. (226)Ra or (210)Po were generally the highest contributors to the dose. The aquatic ecosystems in the vicinity of the phosphate fertiliser plants in Tessenderlo (Belgium), Huelva (Spain), Goiás (Brazil) and the terrestrial environment around the phosphate mine in Palmyra (Syria) are the ecosystems predicted to be potentially most at risk. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
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    ABSTRACT: This report summarises the main issues related with the International Wildlife Dosimetry Workshop, organized by STAR in June 2014.The workshop addressed a wide spectrum of questions related to the ionising radiation dose estimation in animals and plants, involving world leading experts in each of the subjects treated. There were 30 participants from 12 countries (Belgium, Canada, USA, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Russia and Sweden).
    Full-text · Technical Report · Sep 2014
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    ABSTRACT: An international study under the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) was performed to assess radiological impact of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) on the marine environment. This work constitutes the first international assessment of this type, drawing upon methodologies that incorporate the most up-to-date radioecological models and knowledge. To quantify the radiological impact on marine wildlife, a suite of state-of-the-art approaches to assess exposures to Fukushima derived radionuclides of marine biota, including predictive dynamic transfer modelling, was applied to a comprehensive dataset consisting of over 500 sediment, 6000 seawater and 5000 biota data points representative of the geographically relevant area during the first year after the accident. The dataset covers the period from May 2011 to August 2012. The method used to evaluate the ecological impact consists of comparing dose (rates) to which living species of interest are exposed during a defined period to critical effects values arising from the literature. The assessed doses follow a highly variable pattern and generally do not seem to indicate the potential for effects. A possible exception of a transient nature is the relatively contaminated area in the vicinity of the discharge point, where effects on sensitive endpoints in individual plants and animals might have occurred in the weeks directly following the accident. However, impacts on population integrity would have been unlikely due to the short duration and the limited space area of the initially high exposures. Our understanding of the biological impact of radiation on chronically exposed plants and animals continues to evolve, and still needs to be improved through future studies in the FDNPS marine environment.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Following releases from the nuclear accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS), contention has arisen over the potential radiological impact on wildlife. Under the auspices of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, a suite of recently developed approaches was applied to calculate exposure and thereafter infer effects on wildlife through comparison with compiled dose–response relationships. Only macroalgae (accumulated dose of 7 Gy) substantially exceeded its corresponding benchmark. We inferred that although effects on sensitive end points in individual plants and animals might have occurred in the weeks directly following the accident in relatively contaminated areas, impacts on population integrity would have been unlikely because of the short duration of the most highly elevated exposures. The conclusions of the assessment are incongruous with recent field observations of effects on some animal species, the cause of which has been reportedly exposures from FDNPS releases.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014
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    ABSTRACT: To obtain a better understanding on how non-human biota are affected by exposure to environmental radioactivity, it is essential to link observed effects to a correct estimate of absorbed ionising radiation dose. Current wildlife dose rate and risk assessment tools are not set up to assess changes in dose rate during organism development. This paper presents a dosimetry model for assessing dose rate and absorbed dose during seedling development of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We included growth and radionuclide absorption dynamics into the dose calculations. This model was subsequently used to compare the dose and dose rate calculations for three radionuclides, (241)Am (α-radiation), (90)Sr (β-radiation) and (133)Ba (γ-radiation), in a standard exposure scenario. We show that growth influences dose and dose rate and that this influence depends on the radionuclide and the organ involved. The use of dynamic dosimetry models greatly improves the dose calculations for effect studies.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of Theoretical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: An international study under the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) was performed to assess radiological impact of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) on the marine environment. This work constitutes the first international assessment of this type, drawing upon methodologies that incorporate the most up-to-date radioecological models and knowledge. To quantify the radiological impact on marine wildlife, a suite of state-of-the-art approaches to assess exposures to Fukushima derived radionuclides of marine biota, including predictive dynamic transfer modelling, was applied to a comprehensive dataset consisting of over 500 sediment, 6000 seawater and 5000 biota data points representative of the geographically relevant area during the first year after the accident. The dataset covers the period from May 2011 to August 2012. The method used to evaluate the ecological impact consists of comparing dose (rates) to which living species of interest are exposed during a defined period to critical effects values arising from the literature. The assessed doses follow a highly variable pattern and generally do not seem to indicate the potential for effects. A possible exception of a transient nature is the relatively contaminated area in the vicinity of the discharge point, where effects on sensitive endpoints in individual plants and animals might have occurred in the weeks directly following the accident. However, impacts on population integrity would have been unlikely due to the short duration and the limited space area of the initially high exposures. Our understanding of the biological impact of radiation on chronically exposed plants and animals continues to evolve, and still needs to be improved through future studies in the FDNPS marine environment.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: This report is a detailed plan for the COMET WP3 Initial Research Activity (IRA) in the form of a list of research projects and goals, participants and timing. The topics and their objectives, in short, are the following: 1. Marine modelling – improving predictions of concentrations in and exposures of marine biota and humans through sophisticated modelling, e.g. trophic transfer modelling and by combining transfer modelling with sediment modelling. 2. Forest modelling - reducing the uncertainties in assessments of short and long term impacts of radioactive contamination in forested areas through model development and parameterization of key processes controlling the transfer of radionuclides. 3. Human food chain modelling - improving human food chain modelling through regional customization of parameter values, using Bayesian methods and studying the long-term dynamics of soil-to-plant transfers for specific soil types and for long-lived radionuclides. 4. NORM modelling - acquiring data necessary for the parameterization of key processes, and improving existing models or developing parametric models linking observed accumulation, mobility, and transfer with environmental parameters and processes. 5. Particle behaviour - improving our ability to describe the processes of hot particle transformation in the environment and radionuclide leaching in various media. 6. ICRP reference sites - providing the data to derive a taxonomically based model of radionuclide transfer for wildlife independent of site-specific factors.
    Full-text · Technical Report · Oct 2013
  • H Vandenhove · L Sweeck · J. Vives I. Batlle · J Wannijn · M Van Hees · J Camps · G Olyslaegers · C Miliche · B Lance
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    ABSTRACT: An environmental risk assessment (ERA) was performed to evaluate the impact on non-human biota from liquid and atmospheric radioactive discharges by the Belgian Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) of Doel and Tihange. For both sites, characterisation of the source term and wildlife population around the NPPs was provided, whereupon the selection of reference organisms and the general approach taken for the environmental risk assessment was established. A deterministic risk assessment for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems was performed using the ERICA assessment tool and applying the ERICA screening value of 10 μGy h(-1). The study was performed for the radioactive discharge limits and for the actual releases (maxima and averages over the period 1999-2008 or 2000-2009). It is concluded that the current discharge limits for the Belgian NPPs considered do not result in significant risks to the aquatic and terrestrial environment and that the actual discharges, which are a fraction of the release limits, are unlikely to harm the environment.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
  • N A Beresford · J Vives I Batlle
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    ABSTRACT: The application of allometric, or mass-dependent, relationships within radioecology has increased with the evolution of models to predict the exposure of organisms other than man. Allometry presents a method of addressing the lack of empirical data on radionuclide transfer and metabolism for the many radionuclide-species combinations which may need to be considered. However, sufficient data across a range of species with different masses are required to establish allometric relationships and this is not always available. Here, an alternative allometric approach to predict the biological half-life of radionuclides in homoeothermic vertebrates which does not require such data is derived. Biological half-life values are predicted for four radionuclides and compared to available data for a range of species. All predictions were within a factor of five of the observed values when the model was parameterised appropriate to the feeding strategy of each species. This is an encouraging level of agreement given that the allometric models are intended to provide broad approximations rather than exact values. However, reasons why some radionuclides deviate from what would be anticipated from Kleiber's law need to be determined to allow a more complete exploitation of the potential of allometric extrapolation within radioecological models.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Biophysik
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    ABSTRACT: There is a need for a better understanding of biological effects of radiation exposure in non-human biota. Correct description of these effects requires a more detailed model of dosimetry than that available in current risk assessment tools, particularly for plants. In this paper, we propose a simple model for dose calculations in roots and shoots of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings exposed to radionuclides in a hydroponic exposure setup. This model is used to compare absorbed doses for three radionuclides, 241Am (aradiation), 90Sr (b-radiation) and 133Ba (g radiation). Using established dosimetric calculation methods, dose conversion coefficient values were determined for each organ separately based on uptake data from the different plant organs. These calculations were then compared to the DCC values obtained with the ERICA tool under equivalent geometry assumptions. When comparing with our new method, the ERICA tool appears to overestimate internal doses and underestimate external doses in the roots for all three radionuclides, though each to a different extent. These observations might help to refine doseeresponse relationships. The DCC values for 90Sr in roots are shown to deviate the most. A doseeeffect curve for 90Sr b-radiation has been established on biomass and photosynthesis endpoints, but no significant dosedependent effects are observed. This indicates the need for use of endpoints at the molecular and physiological scale.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

Publication Stats

715 Citations
117.94 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • Stockholm University
      • Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2010-2015
    • Belgian Nuclear Research Centre
      • Unit for Biosphere Impact Studies
      Moll, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2003
    • University of Plymouth
      • School of Biological Sciences
      Plymouth, England, United Kingdom