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Title: Radionuclide characterization and associated dose from long-lived radionuclides in close-in fallout delivered to the marine environment at Bikini and Enewetak Atoll

Abstract

Between June 1946 and October 1958, Enewetak and Bikini Atolls were used by the United States as testing grounds for 66 nuclear devices. The combined explosive yield from these tests was 107 Mt (Mt TNT equivalents). This testing produced close-in fallout debris that was contaminated with quantities of radioactive fission and particle activated products, and unspent radioactive nuclear fuel that entered the aquatic environment of the atolls. Today, the sediments in the lagoons are reservoirs for 10's of TBq of the transuranics and some long-lived fission and activation products. The larger amounts of contamination are associated with fine and coarse sediment material adjacent to the locations of the high yield explosions. Radionuclides are also distributed vertically in the sediment column to various depths in all regions of the lagoons. Concentrations greater than fallout background levels are found in filtered water sampled over several decades from all locations and depths in the lagoons. This is a direct indication that the radionuclides are continuously mobilized to solution from the solid phases. Of particular importance is the fact that the long-lived radionuclides are accumulated to different levels by indigenous aquatic plants and organisms that are used as food by resident people. One mightmore » anticipate finding continuous high contamination levels in many of the edible marine organisms from the lagoons, since the radionuclides associated with the sediments are not contained and are available to the different organisms in a relatively shallow water environment. This is not the case. We estimate that the radiological dose from consumption of the edible parts of marine foods at Enewetak and Bikini is presently about 0.05% of the total 50-year integral effective dose from all other exposure pathways that include ingestion of terrestrial foods and drinking water, external exposure and inhalation. The total radiological dose from the marine pathway is dominated by the natural radionuclides, {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb. Man-made radionuclides presently contribute less than 0.3% of the dose from these natural radionuclides in the marine food chain.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environment, Safety and Health (EH) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
2777
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JC-130230; HD2006400
HD2006400; TRN: US0101316
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: International Symposium on Marine Pollution, Monte-Carlo (MC), 10/05/1998--10/09/1998; Other Information: PBD: 1 Sep 1998
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; DRINKING WATER; FOOD CHAINS; LOCAL FALLOUT; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; PERFORMANCE TESTING; BIKINI; ENIWETOK; SEDIMENTS; POLONIUM 210; LEAD 210; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION

Citation Formats

Noshkin, V E, and Robison, W L. Radionuclide characterization and associated dose from long-lived radionuclides in close-in fallout delivered to the marine environment at Bikini and Enewetak Atoll. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Noshkin, V E, & Robison, W L. Radionuclide characterization and associated dose from long-lived radionuclides in close-in fallout delivered to the marine environment at Bikini and Enewetak Atoll. United States.
Noshkin, V E, and Robison, W L. Tue . "Radionuclide characterization and associated dose from long-lived radionuclides in close-in fallout delivered to the marine environment at Bikini and Enewetak Atoll". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/2777.
@article{osti_2777,
title = {Radionuclide characterization and associated dose from long-lived radionuclides in close-in fallout delivered to the marine environment at Bikini and Enewetak Atoll},
author = {Noshkin, V E and Robison, W L},
abstractNote = {Between June 1946 and October 1958, Enewetak and Bikini Atolls were used by the United States as testing grounds for 66 nuclear devices. The combined explosive yield from these tests was 107 Mt (Mt TNT equivalents). This testing produced close-in fallout debris that was contaminated with quantities of radioactive fission and particle activated products, and unspent radioactive nuclear fuel that entered the aquatic environment of the atolls. Today, the sediments in the lagoons are reservoirs for 10's of TBq of the transuranics and some long-lived fission and activation products. The larger amounts of contamination are associated with fine and coarse sediment material adjacent to the locations of the high yield explosions. Radionuclides are also distributed vertically in the sediment column to various depths in all regions of the lagoons. Concentrations greater than fallout background levels are found in filtered water sampled over several decades from all locations and depths in the lagoons. This is a direct indication that the radionuclides are continuously mobilized to solution from the solid phases. Of particular importance is the fact that the long-lived radionuclides are accumulated to different levels by indigenous aquatic plants and organisms that are used as food by resident people. One might anticipate finding continuous high contamination levels in many of the edible marine organisms from the lagoons, since the radionuclides associated with the sediments are not contained and are available to the different organisms in a relatively shallow water environment. This is not the case. We estimate that the radiological dose from consumption of the edible parts of marine foods at Enewetak and Bikini is presently about 0.05% of the total 50-year integral effective dose from all other exposure pathways that include ingestion of terrestrial foods and drinking water, external exposure and inhalation. The total radiological dose from the marine pathway is dominated by the natural radionuclides, {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb. Man-made radionuclides presently contribute less than 0.3% of the dose from these natural radionuclides in the marine food chain.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1998},
month = {9}
}

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