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Title: EFFECTIVE HALF-LIFE OF CESIUM-137 IN VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

During the operational history of the Savannah River Site (SRS), many different radionuclides have been released from site facilities into the SRS environment. However, only a relatively small number of pathways, most importantly {sup 137}Cs in fish and deer, have contributed significantly to doses and risks to the public. The “effective” half-lives (T{sub e}) of {sup 137}Cs (which include both physical decay and environmental dispersion) in Savannah River floodplain soil and vegetation and in fish and white-tailed deer from the SRS were estimated using long-term monitoring data. For 1974–2011, the T{sub e}s of {sup 137}Cs in Savannah River floodplain soil and vegetation were 17.0 years (95% CI = 14.2–19.9) and 13.4 years (95% CI = 10.8–16.0), respectively. These T{sub e}s were greater than in a previous study that used data collected only through 2005 as a likely result of changes in the flood regime of the Savannah River. Field analyses of {sup 137}Cs concentrations in deer collected during yearly controlled hunts at the SRS indicated an overall T{sub e} of 15.9 years (95% CI = 12.3–19.6) for 1965–2011; however, the T{sub e} for 1990–2011 was significantly shorter (11.8 years, 95% CI = 4.8–18.8) due to an increase in the ratemore » of {sup 137}Cs removal. The shortest T{sub e}s were for fish in SRS streams and the Savannah River (3.5–9.0 years), where dilution and dispersal resulted in rapid {sup 137}Cs removal. Long-term data show that T{sub e}s are significantly shorter than the physical half-life of {sup 137}Cs in the SRS environment but that they can change over time. Therefore, it is desirable have a long period of record for calculating Tes and risky to extrapolate T{sub e}s beyond this period unless the processes governing {sup 137}Cs removal are clearly understood.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1117333
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2013-00725
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Research Org:
SRS
Sponsoring Org:
DOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Cesium; Effective half-life; Ecological half-life; Long-term change