skip to main content

Title: AQUATIC ASSESSMENT OF THE CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR ACCIDENT AND ITS REMEDIATION

This modeling study evaluated aquatic environment affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident and the effectiveness of remediation efforts. Study results indicate that radionuclide concentrations in the Pripyat and Dnieper rivers were well above the drinking water limits immediately after the Chernobyl accident, but have decreased significantly in subsequent years due to flashing, burying, and decay. Because high concentrations of 90Sr and 137Cs, the major radionuclides affecting human health through aquatic pathways, are associated with flooding, an earthen dike was constructed along the Pripyat River in its most contaminated floodplain. The dike was successful in reducing the 90Sr influx to the river by half. A 100-m-high movable dome called the New Safe Confinement is planned to cover the Chernobyl Shelter (formally called the sarcophagus) that was erected shortly after the accident. The NSC will reduce radionuclide contamination further in these rivers and nearby groundwater; however, even if the Chernobyl Shelter collapses before the NSC is built, the resulting peak concentrations of 90Sr and 137Cs in the Dnieper River would still be below the drinking water limits.
Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
920529
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-46817
TRN: US0805469
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Engineering (ASCE), 133(11):1015-1023; Journal Volume: 133; Journal Issue: 11
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CHERNOBYLSK-4 REACTOR; CONTAMINATION; DNIEPER RIVER; PRIPET RIVER; RADIOACTIVITY; REMEDIAL ACTION; STRONTIUM 90; CESIUM 137