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Doses to terrestrial biota in the vicinity of BNFL Sellafield, Cumbria, UK

Copplestone D, Johnson MS, Jackson D & Jones SR (2000) Doses to terrestrial biota in the vicinity of BNFL Sellafield, Cumbria, UK, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 92 (1-3), pp. 177-182.

Source terms and corresponding radionuclide activity concentrations in biota for 134Cs, 137Cs, 238Pu, 239+240Pu and 241Am have been assessed for three semi-natural ecosystems in the vicinity of BNFL Sellafield, Cumbria, UK. Estimates of absorbed doses (mGy.d-1) have been calculated. Doses to key indicator species, Oniscus asellus (detritivorous invertebrate), Carabus violaceous (predatory invertebrate) and Apodemus sylvaticus (granivorous wood mouse) are discussed with reference to the 1 mGy.d-1 level, below which it is postulated that no observable effects on populations in a terrestrial ecosystem occur. Implications for the 'critical group' and 'reference model' approaches for a framework of radiological environmental protection are discussed. The need to assess the most highly exposed species is advanced. New research focused on the application of biomarker techniques as a mechanism for determining the interactions and effects of environmental contaminants on ecosystem structure and functioning is presented.

AuthorsCopplestone David, Johnson Michael S, Jackson Duncan, Jones Steve R
Publication date11/2000
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN 0144-8420

Radiation Protection Dosimetry: Volume 92, Issue 1-3 (2000)

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