Assessment of risk to wildlife from ionising radiation: can initial screening tiers be used with a high level of confidence?

Beresford, N.A.; Hosseini, A.; Brown, J.E.; Cailes, C.; Beaugelin-Seiller, K.; Barnett, C.L.; Copplestone, D.. 2010 Assessment of risk to wildlife from ionising radiation: can initial screening tiers be used with a high level of confidence? Journal of Radiological Protection, 30. 265-281. 10.1088/0952-4746/30/2/S04

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A number of models are being used to assess the potential environmental impact of releases of radioactivity. These often use a tiered assessment structure whose first tier is designed to be highly conservative and simple to use. An aim of using this initial tier is to identify sites of negligible concern and to remove them from further consideration with a high degree of confidence. In this paper we compare the screening assessment outputs of three freely available models. The outputs of thesemodels varied considerably in terms of estimated risk quotient (RQ) and the radionuclide–organism combinations identified as being the most limiting. A number of factors are identified as contributing to this variability: values of transfer parameters (concentration ratios and Kd) used; organisms considered; different input options and how these are utilised in the assessment; assumptions as regards secular equilibrium; geometries and exposure scenarios. This large variation in RQ values between models means that the level of confidence required by users is not achieved. We recommend that the factors contributing to the variation in screening assessments be subjected to further investigation so that they can be more fully understood and assessors (and those reviewing assessment outputs) can better justify and evaluate the results obtained.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1088/0952-4746/30/2/S04
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 3 - Managing Threats to Environment and Health > BGC - 3.1 - Develop temporally and spatially explicit risk assessment tools ...
CEH Sections: Shore
ISSN: 0952-4746
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Full text can be accessed via the Official URL link
Additional Keywords: radioecology
Date made live: 28 Jun 2010 15:30 +0 (UTC)

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