Volume 44, Number 5, 2009ECORAD 2008 - Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity
|Page(s)||281 - 284|
|Published online||06 June 2009|
A return to the nuclear waste dumping sites in the bays of Novaya Zemlya
Akvaplan-niva, Polar Environmental Center, 9296 Tromsø
2 Ministry of Emergency of the Russian Federation, 109012 Moscow, Russia
3 State Research and Production Company for Geological Sea Survey, 198095 St-Petersburg, Russia
4 State Institution “Research and Production Association” (SI RPA) “Typhoon”, 249038 Obninsk, Russia
5 Radiochemistry Div., Chemistry Dept. of Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia
A new assessment of the nuclear dumping sites of Novaya Zemlya was performed in 2003/4. 137Cs contamination levels within both Stepovogo and Abrosimova Bays are similar to background environmental levels and there has been no detectable leakage from objects in Tsivolki Bay. Near-surface sediment 137Cs contamination levels in 2003/04 are 1–11 Bq/kg, 4–268 Bq/kg, and 13–20 Bq/kg in Tsivolki, Stepovogo and Abrosimova Bays respectively. These conclusions are further supported by the data for 238Pu and 239+240Pu. Hence, leakages from the low-level waste containers on the seafloor have diminished appreciably after ten years while sediment reworking (e.g. mixing, burial, resuspension and transport) and radioactive decay has reduced to negligible the elevated radionuclide levels previously detected in surface sediments. Furthermore, there is no indication that nuclear fuel from the dumped reactors or submarine has been or is presently releasing detectable quantities of radioactivity into the marine environment.
© EDP Sciences, 2009
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