Volume 37, Number C1, February 2002ECORAD 2001: The Radioecology - Ecotoxicology of Continental and Estuatine Environments
|Page(s)||C1-115 - C1-120|
|Published online||14 October 2009|
Management options for food production systems contaminated as a result of a nuclear accident
National Radiological Protection Board, Environmental Assessments Department, Chilton OX11 0RQ, U.K.
In the event of a nuclear accident, the imposition of mandatory intervention levels for foodstuffs could result in substantial quantities of agricultural produce being considered unfit for human consumption. Milk is important in this respect due to the continuous nature of its production and the rapid transfer of radionuclides from pasture to milk. A five-year research project funded jointly by Food Standards Agency, Environment Agency and NRPB, has been carried out to evaluate comprehensively, options for the management of contaminated foodstuffs following a nuclear accident. This has identified three broad strategies for handling milk, cereals, fruit and vegetables : in situ treatments, alternative uses and disposal. For milk there is also the possibility of rapidly reducing the production of waste milk. The practicability of these options was evaluated against a set of 6 criteria : technical feasibility, capacity, cost, environmental impact, radiological impact and acceptability. These were assessed quantitatively where possible through consultation with experts from a wide range of organisations. Detailed radiological impact assessments were also undertaken. The radionuclides of interest were 131l, 134,137Cs and 89,90Sr. This paper provides an overview of the assessment of practicability and makes recommendations on the most appropriate options according to the type of agricultural produce affected.
© EDP Sciences, 2002
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