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

Title: A model for selecting bioindicators to monitor radionuclide concentrations using Amchitka Island in the Aleutians as a case study

Abstract

World War II and the Cold War have left the Unites States, and other Nations, with massive cleanup and remediation tasks for radioactive and other legacy hazardous wastes. While some sites can be cleaned up to acceptable residential risk levels, others will continue to hold hazardous wastes, which must be contained and monitored to protect human health and the environment. While media (soil, sediment, groundwater) monitoring is the usual norm at many radiological waste sites, for some situations (both biological and societal), biomonitoring may provide the necessary information to assure greater peace of mind for local and regional residents, and to protect ecologically valuable buffer lands or waters. In most cases, indicators are selected using scientific expertise and a literature review, but not all selected indicators will seem relevant to stakeholders. In this paper, I provide a model for the inclusion of stakeholders in the development of bioindicators for assessing radionuclide levels of biota in the marine environment around Amchitka Island, in the Aleutian Chain of Alaska. Amchitka was the site of three underground nuclear tests from 1965 to 1971. The process was stakeholder-initiated, stakeholder-driven, and included stakeholders during each phase. Phases included conceptualization, initial selection of biota and radionuclides,more » refinement of biota and radionuclide target lists, collection of biota, selection of biota and radionuclides for analysis, and selection of biota, tissues, and radionuclides for bioindicators. The process produced site-specific information on biota availability and on radionuclide levels that led to selection of site-appropriate bioindicators. I suggest that the lengthy, iterative, stakeholder-driven process described in this paper results in selection of bioindicators that are accepted by biologists, public health personnel, public-policy makers, resource agencies, regulatory agencies, subsistence hunters/fishers, and a wide range of other stakeholders. The process is applicable to other sites with ecologically important buffer lands or waters, or where contamination issues are contentious.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Division of Life Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, and Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21077741
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2007.05.017; PII: S0013-9351(07)00135-1; Copyright (c) 2007 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0013-9351
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ALASKA; BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS; CONTAMINATION; GROUND WATER; ISLANDS; ITERATIVE METHODS; PUBLIC HEALTH; PUBLIC POLICY; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOACTIVITY; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; REMEDIAL ACTION; REVIEWS; SEDIMENTS; SOILS

Citation Formats

Burger, Joanna. A model for selecting bioindicators to monitor radionuclide concentrations using Amchitka Island in the Aleutians as a case study. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2007.05.017.
Burger, Joanna. A model for selecting bioindicators to monitor radionuclide concentrations using Amchitka Island in the Aleutians as a case study. United States. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2007.05.017.
Burger, Joanna. Thu . "A model for selecting bioindicators to monitor radionuclide concentrations using Amchitka Island in the Aleutians as a case study". United States. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2007.05.017.
@article{osti_21077741,
title = {A model for selecting bioindicators to monitor radionuclide concentrations using Amchitka Island in the Aleutians as a case study},
author = {Burger, Joanna},
abstractNote = {World War II and the Cold War have left the Unites States, and other Nations, with massive cleanup and remediation tasks for radioactive and other legacy hazardous wastes. While some sites can be cleaned up to acceptable residential risk levels, others will continue to hold hazardous wastes, which must be contained and monitored to protect human health and the environment. While media (soil, sediment, groundwater) monitoring is the usual norm at many radiological waste sites, for some situations (both biological and societal), biomonitoring may provide the necessary information to assure greater peace of mind for local and regional residents, and to protect ecologically valuable buffer lands or waters. In most cases, indicators are selected using scientific expertise and a literature review, but not all selected indicators will seem relevant to stakeholders. In this paper, I provide a model for the inclusion of stakeholders in the development of bioindicators for assessing radionuclide levels of biota in the marine environment around Amchitka Island, in the Aleutian Chain of Alaska. Amchitka was the site of three underground nuclear tests from 1965 to 1971. The process was stakeholder-initiated, stakeholder-driven, and included stakeholders during each phase. Phases included conceptualization, initial selection of biota and radionuclides, refinement of biota and radionuclide target lists, collection of biota, selection of biota and radionuclides for analysis, and selection of biota, tissues, and radionuclides for bioindicators. The process produced site-specific information on biota availability and on radionuclide levels that led to selection of site-appropriate bioindicators. I suggest that the lengthy, iterative, stakeholder-driven process described in this paper results in selection of bioindicators that are accepted by biologists, public health personnel, public-policy makers, resource agencies, regulatory agencies, subsistence hunters/fishers, and a wide range of other stakeholders. The process is applicable to other sites with ecologically important buffer lands or waters, or where contamination issues are contentious.},
doi = {10.1016/j.envres.2007.05.017},
journal = {Environmental Research},
issn = {0013-9351},
number = 3,
volume = 105,
place = {United States},
year = {2007},
month = {11}
}