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This up to the moment account examines how radionuclides impact human well-being. It explores how radionuclides go back and forth via a variety of nutrition chains and the way they're transported in the course of the terrestrial and aquatic environments.


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Extra info for Ciba Foundation Symposium 203 - Health Impacts of Large Releases of Radionuclides

Sample text

Kd may be regarded as an ‘entry gate’ and RR an ‘exit gate’. Uncertainties in Kd and RR cause uncertainties in model predictions. Uncertainties in important rates for processes within ecosystems (such as sedimentation, diffusion, advection, bio-uptake and excretion) cannot be adequately evaluated when uncertainties exist for Kd and RR. Empirical data show that there may be a variation in Kd of two orders of magnitude with environmental factors such as pH. This is important because K , regulates the amount of radionuclides in dissolved and particulate phases, and hence also pelagic and benthic transport.

However, the considerable variability in transfer rates leads to exceptions to this general trend. There are large differences between the fruiting bodies of different fungal species (for simplicity termed mushrooms), where threefold differences in Tag values occur. A number of species-specific and environmental characteristics contribute to the high and variable radiocaesium levels in semi-natural products. These have been summarized by Howard et a1 (1996) and in a recent Nordic radioecology publication (Dahlgaard 1994).

SEMI-NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS 39 Howard: I can’t answer your question about external irradiation. In Scotland, values up to 6000 Bq/kg were measured in grouse after the Chernobyl accident, but these data cannot be compared with external doses for these animals. Frissel: It has been suggested that caesium uptake by fungal mycelia is time dependent because some species take up caesium from the topsoil and others from the subsoil, and with time caesium moves downwards from the topsoil to the subsoil. Howard: This is probably correct.

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