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Effects of ionizing radiation on the boreal forest: Canada's FIG experiment, with implications for radionuclides

Abstract

The Field-Irradiator Gamma (FIG) experiment chronically irradiated a section of the Canadian boreal forest over a period of 14 years. Forest trees were affected at dose rates >0.1 mGy{center_dot}h{sup -1}, but a berbaceous plant community thrived at dose rates up to 65 mGy{center_dot}h{sup -1}. Irradiation resulted in the establishment of four zones of vegetation: a herbaceous community, a shrub community, a narrow zone of dying trees, and a zone with no apparent impacts. Concentrations of {sup 14}C, {sup 99}Tc, {sup 129}I, {sup 137}Cs and {sup 226}Ra that could cause a dose rate of 0.1 mGy{center_dot}h{sup -1} within vegetation were calculated. Chemical toxic effects on plants would be caused by {sup 99}Tc and {sup 129}I before radiological effects are predicted to occur. The calculated {sup 226}Ra concentration is about a factor of 10 greater than that measured at some natural sites. Sufficiently high concentrations of {sup 14}C and {sup 137}Cs to cause an impact are unlikely unless a site is severely contaminated. (author)
Publication Date:
Jul 01, 1994
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
AECL-11277; COG-95-00079
Resource Relation:
Other Information: 30 refs., 3 tabs., 4 figs. Reprinted from The Science of the Total Environment, Vol.157, 1994, p.371-382; PBD: 1994
Subject:
63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGANISMS AND BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS; BOREAL REGIONS; DOSE RATES; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; FORESTS; GAMMA SOURCES; IONIZING RADIATIONS; RADIATION EFFECTS; RADIOISOTOPES
OSTI ID:
20257452
Research Organizations:
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Pinawa, Manitoba (Canada)
Country of Origin:
Canada
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: CA0200090026095
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form
Submitting Site:
CANN
Size:
12 pages
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Amiro, B D, and Sheppard, S C. Effects of ionizing radiation on the boreal forest: Canada's FIG experiment, with implications for radionuclides. Canada: N. p., 1994. Web.
Amiro, B D, & Sheppard, S C. Effects of ionizing radiation on the boreal forest: Canada's FIG experiment, with implications for radionuclides. Canada.
Amiro, B D, and Sheppard, S C. 1994. "Effects of ionizing radiation on the boreal forest: Canada's FIG experiment, with implications for radionuclides." Canada.
@misc{etde_20257452,
title = {Effects of ionizing radiation on the boreal forest: Canada's FIG experiment, with implications for radionuclides}
author = {Amiro, B D, and Sheppard, S C}
abstractNote = {The Field-Irradiator Gamma (FIG) experiment chronically irradiated a section of the Canadian boreal forest over a period of 14 years. Forest trees were affected at dose rates >0.1 mGy{center_dot}h{sup -1}, but a berbaceous plant community thrived at dose rates up to 65 mGy{center_dot}h{sup -1}. Irradiation resulted in the establishment of four zones of vegetation: a herbaceous community, a shrub community, a narrow zone of dying trees, and a zone with no apparent impacts. Concentrations of {sup 14}C, {sup 99}Tc, {sup 129}I, {sup 137}Cs and {sup 226}Ra that could cause a dose rate of 0.1 mGy{center_dot}h{sup -1} within vegetation were calculated. Chemical toxic effects on plants would be caused by {sup 99}Tc and {sup 129}I before radiological effects are predicted to occur. The calculated {sup 226}Ra concentration is about a factor of 10 greater than that measured at some natural sites. Sufficiently high concentrations of {sup 14}C and {sup 137}Cs to cause an impact are unlikely unless a site is severely contaminated. (author)}
place = {Canada}
year = {1994}
month = {Jul}
}