Collective doses to man from dumping of radioactive waste in the Arctic Seas

S.P. Nielsen, M. Iosjpe, P. Strand

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    A box model for the dispersion of radionuclides in the marine environment covering the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean has been constructed. Collective doses from ingestion pathways have been calculated from unit releases of the radionuclides H-3, (CO)-C-60, Ni-63, Sr-90, I-129, (CS)-C-137, Pu-239 and Am-241 into a fjord on the east coast of NovayaZemlya. The results show that doses for the shorter-lived radionuclides (e.g. Cs-137) are derived mainly from seafood production in the Parents Sea. Doses from the longer-lived radionuclides (e.g. Pu-239) are delivered through marine produce further away from the Arctic Ocean. Collective doses were calculated for two release scenarios, both of which are based on information of the dumping of radioactive waste in the Barents and Kara Seas by the former Soviet Union and on preliminary information from the International Arctic Sea Assessment Programme. A worst-case scenario was assumed according to which all radionuclides in liquid and solid radioactive waste were available for dispersion in the marine environment at the time of dumping. Release of radionuclides from spent nuclear fuel was assumed to take place by direct corrosion of the fuel ignoring the barriers that prevent direct contact between the fuel and the seawater. The second scenario selected assumed that releases of radionuclides from spent nuclear fuel do not occur until after failure of the protective barriers. All other liquid and solid radioactive waste was assumed to be available for dispersion at the time of discharge in both scenarios. The estimated collective dose for the worst-case scenario was about 9 manSv and that for the second scenario was about 3 manSv. In both cases, Cs-137 is the radionuclide predicted to dominate the collective doses as well as the peak collective dose rates. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue number1-3
    Pages (from-to)135-146
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

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