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Assessing doses to terrestrial wildlife at a radioactive waste disposal site: inter-comparison of modelling approaches

Johansen, M.P.; Barnett, C.L.; Beresford, N.A.; Brown, J.E.; Černe, M.; Howard, B.J.; Kamboj, S.; Keum, D.-K.; Smodiš, B.; Twining, J.R.; Vandenhove, H.; Vives i Batlle, J.; Wood, M.D.; Yu, C.. 2012 Assessing doses to terrestrial wildlife at a radioactive waste disposal site: inter-comparison of modelling approaches. Science of the Total Environment, 427-428. 238-246. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.04.031

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Abstract/Summary

Radiological doses to terrestrial wildlife were examined in this model inter-comparison study that emphasised factors causing variability in dose estimation. The study participants used varying modelling approaches and information sources to estimate dose rates and tissue concentrations for a range of biota types exposed to soil contamination at a shallow radionuclide waste burial site in Australia. Results indicated that the dominant factor causing variation in dose rate estimates (up to three orders of magnitude on mean total dose rates) was the soil-to-organism transfer of radionuclides that included variation in transfer parameter values as well as transfer calculation methods. Additional variation was associated with other modelling factors including: how participants conceptualised and modelled the exposure configurations (two orders of magnitude); which progeny to include with the parent radionuclide (typically less than one order of magnitude); and dose calculation parameters, including radiation weighting factors and dose conversion coefficients (typically less than one order of magnitude). Probabilistic approaches to model parameterisation were used to encompass and describe variable model parameters and outcomes. The study confirms the need for continued evaluation of the underlying mechanisms governing soil-toorganism transfer of radionuclides to improve estimation of dose rates to terrestrial wildlife. The exposure pathways and configurations available in most current codes are limited when considering instances where organisms access subsurface contamination through rooting, burrowing, or using different localised waste areas as part of their habitual routines.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.04.031
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: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: radioecology, biota dose modelling, radionuclides, transfer, concentration ratio, wildlife
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 21 May 2012 15:10
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/18099

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