The transfer of radionuclides from saltmarsh vegetation to sheep tissues and milk

Beresford, N.A.; Howard, B.J.; Mayes, R.W.; Lamb, C.S.. 2007 The transfer of radionuclides from saltmarsh vegetation to sheep tissues and milk. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 98 (1-2). 36-49.

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Radionuclides released into the Irish Sea by the Sellafield reprocessing plant are deposited onto tide-washed pastures along the western coast of the United Kingdom. Many of these pastures are grazed by sheep or cattle. This paper describes a controlled feeding study, in which saltmarsh vegetation harvested from close to the Sellafield plant, was fed to lambs and adult female sheep for a period of 8 weeks. Activity concentrations of 60Co, 95Nb, 106Ru, 134Cs, 137Cs, 238Pu, 239,240Pu and 241Am were determined in edible tissues and transfer parameters estimated. The activity concentrations of some of the radionuclides will not have been in equilibrium with those in the diet. Nevertheless, the study was reasonably realistic in terms of agricultural management as the period of the study was similar to that for which lambs graze on the saltmarshes. A field study to determine the activity concentrations of 137Cs and 239,240Pu in the milk of ewes grazing a saltmarsh close to Sellafield is also described.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0265-931X
Additional Keywords: sheep tissues, sheep milk, plutonium, americium, caesium, Ravenglass Estuary, saltmarsh vegetation, transfer, radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 28 Nov 2007 16:10 +0 (UTC)

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