Volume 40, May 2005ECORAD 2004
|Page(s)||S629 - S634|
|Published online||17 June 2005|
Transfer of conservative and non-conservative radionuclides from the Sellafield Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing plant to the coastal waters of Ireland
Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland, 3 Clonskeagh Square, Dublin 14, Ireland
2 Food Standards Agency, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH, UK
The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland has monitored levels of anthropogenic radionuclides in the Irish marine environment for over 20 years. While the primary objective of the monitoring programme is to assess the exposure of the Irish population resulting from the presence of these radionuclides in the marine environment, the programme also aims to assess the geographical distribution and temporal variations of the radionuclides. The programme involves the routine sampling of and testing for radioactivity in fish, shellfish, seaweed, sediments and seawater. The data generated in the course of this programme, as well as in a separate study of changing plutonium isotopic ratios in Fucus vesiculosus from the west coast of Ireland, were used to estimate transport times from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant to various locations on the Irish coastline. For conservative radionuclides, transit times of 5-6 months to the NE coast of Ireland, 1-3 years to the south coast of Ireland and 3-8 years to the west coast were calculated. In contrast, for plutonium, the Sellafield signal was not observed on the west coast until the late 1980s/early 1990s.
© EDP Sciences, 2005
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