skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 1: Distribution and doses

Abstract

Soils, vegetation, small mammals, and birds were measured for uranium series radionuclides at three sites near the operating Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Sites, impacted by windblown tailings and mill dust, had significantly higher concentrations of uranium, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 210}Pb, and {sup 210}Po in soils, litter, vegetation, tree needles and twigs, small mammals, and birds, compared to a control site. Samples were collected from both upland jackpine and black spruce bog habitats in triplicate at each site. Both habitats were similar in radionuclide accumulation. Absorbed doses averaged 0.92, 8.4, and 4.9 mGy y{sup {minus}1} to small mammals and 2.0, 5.8, and 2.8 mGy y{sup {minus}1} to Lincoln's sparrows at the control, tailings, and mill sites, respectively. These doses do not include doses from short-lived radon progeny. The majority of the dose increment at the tailings and mill sites was due to {sup 226}Ra, whereas it was {sup 210}Po at the control site. Thus, use of a radiation weighting factor of 20 for alpha radiation raised equivalent doses (in mSv y{sup {minus}1}) by nearly a factor of 20.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (CA)
Sponsoring Org.:
Environment Canada; Health Canada; Saskatchewan Health
OSTI Identifier:
20075790
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Health Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 78; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: PBD: Jun 2000; Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9078
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS; SOILS; CONTAMINATION; RADIATION MONITORING; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; RADIATION DOSES; URANIUM; RADIUM 226; LEAD 210; POLONIUM 210; CANADA; FOOD CHAINS

Citation Formats

Thomas, P.A. Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 1: Distribution and doses. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.1097/00004032-200006000-00003.
Thomas, P.A. Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 1: Distribution and doses. United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-200006000-00003.
Thomas, P.A. Thu . "Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 1: Distribution and doses". United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-200006000-00003.
@article{osti_20075790,
title = {Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 1: Distribution and doses},
author = {Thomas, P.A.},
abstractNote = {Soils, vegetation, small mammals, and birds were measured for uranium series radionuclides at three sites near the operating Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Sites, impacted by windblown tailings and mill dust, had significantly higher concentrations of uranium, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 210}Pb, and {sup 210}Po in soils, litter, vegetation, tree needles and twigs, small mammals, and birds, compared to a control site. Samples were collected from both upland jackpine and black spruce bog habitats in triplicate at each site. Both habitats were similar in radionuclide accumulation. Absorbed doses averaged 0.92, 8.4, and 4.9 mGy y{sup {minus}1} to small mammals and 2.0, 5.8, and 2.8 mGy y{sup {minus}1} to Lincoln's sparrows at the control, tailings, and mill sites, respectively. These doses do not include doses from short-lived radon progeny. The majority of the dose increment at the tailings and mill sites was due to {sup 226}Ra, whereas it was {sup 210}Po at the control site. Thus, use of a radiation weighting factor of 20 for alpha radiation raised equivalent doses (in mSv y{sup {minus}1}) by nearly a factor of 20.},
doi = {10.1097/00004032-200006000-00003},
journal = {Health Physics},
issn = {0017-9078},
number = 6,
volume = 78,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {6}
}