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Title: Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 2: Small mammal food chains and bioavailability

Abstract

Food chain transfer through the soil-vegetation-small mammal food chain was measured by concentration ratios (CRs) for uranium, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 210}Pb, and {sup 210}Po at three sites near the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Plant/soil CRs, animal carcass/GI tract CRs, and animal/soil CRs were depressed at sites impacted by mill and tailings dusts relative to a nearby control site. Thus, radionuclides associated with large particulates in tailings and/or ore dusts may be less bioavailable to terrestrial plants and animals than natural sources of radioactive dust. These results show that reliance on default food chain transfer parameters, obtained from uncontaminated terrestrial ecosystems, may overpredict impacts at uranium mine and mill sites. Given the omnivorous diet of small mammals and birds, animal/soil CRs are recommended as the most cost-effective and robust means of predicting animal concentrations from environmental monitoring data at uranium mill facilities.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (CA)
Sponsoring Org.:
Environment Canada; Health Canada; Saskatchewan Health
OSTI Identifier:
20075791
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; FOOD CHAINS; URANIUM; RADIUM 226; LEAD 210; POLONIUM 210; CANADA

Citation Formats

Thomas, P.A. Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 2: Small mammal food chains and bioavailability. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.1097/00004032-200006000-00004.
Thomas, P.A. Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 2: Small mammal food chains and bioavailability. United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-200006000-00004.
Thomas, P.A. Thu . "Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 2: Small mammal food chains and bioavailability". United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-200006000-00004.
@article{osti_20075791,
title = {Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 2: Small mammal food chains and bioavailability},
author = {Thomas, P.A.},
abstractNote = {Food chain transfer through the soil-vegetation-small mammal food chain was measured by concentration ratios (CRs) for uranium, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 210}Pb, and {sup 210}Po at three sites near the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Plant/soil CRs, animal carcass/GI tract CRs, and animal/soil CRs were depressed at sites impacted by mill and tailings dusts relative to a nearby control site. Thus, radionuclides associated with large particulates in tailings and/or ore dusts may be less bioavailable to terrestrial plants and animals than natural sources of radioactive dust. These results show that reliance on default food chain transfer parameters, obtained from uncontaminated terrestrial ecosystems, may overpredict impacts at uranium mine and mill sites. Given the omnivorous diet of small mammals and birds, animal/soil CRs are recommended as the most cost-effective and robust means of predicting animal concentrations from environmental monitoring data at uranium mill facilities.},
doi = {10.1097/00004032-200006000-00004},
journal = {Health Physics},
issn = {0017-9078},
number = 6,
volume = 78,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {6}
}