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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research

Publications

Experimental Installation for Radioecology Research on Defined Ecosystems Subjected to Contamination in Controlled Conditions

C. Madoz-Escande, F. Bréchignac, C. Colle, E. Dubois, J. Hugon, H. Jouglet, M. Moutier, P. Rongier, A. Sanchez, E. Schulte, R. Zanon Nuclear Science and Engineering 133 (2) ; 178-191 (1999)

Summary

A dedicated experimental facility has been constructed to simulate, in controlled conditions. the contamination by multielement aerosols, of various agro-ecosystems typical of Europe. Large monoliths of undisturbed soils (12 t each) have been sampled throughout Europe; the extraction method used in order not to destroy the pedological zones is described. These monoliths are installed in facility greenhouses under computer driven climatic and hydric conditions, which mimic those of their origin. A critical comparison of the climatic values in the greenhouse and in the original sites is done. Contamination of the lysimeters is performed with a specific furnace capable of generating radioactive and stable aerosols. The general characteristic aerosols are determined. They are representative of those that would be released in the case of a severe accident in a pressurized water reactor with core fusion (2950°C).

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