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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Weather-dependent change of cesium, strontium, barium and tellurium contamination deposited as aerosols on various cultures

C. Madoz-Escande (a) and P. Santucci (b)
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 84, Issue 3 , Pages 417-439

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords > radiological protection, aerosol, contamination, radionuclides

Research Unit > IRSN/DEI/SECRE/LME, IRSN/DEI/SECRE/LRE

Authors > MADOZ-ESCANDE Chantal

Publication Date > 06/12/2005

Summary

Various types of plants (wheat, bean, lettuce, radish and grass) were contaminated by dry deposition of radioactive aerosols (137Cs, 85Sr, 133Ba and 123mTe) in order to supplement the radioecological data necessary for operational post-accidental codes. A few days after deposition, rainfalls were applied to these cultures to evaluate the influence of some characteristics of the rain on the contamination of the culture over time. On the other hand, for wheat and bean, the influence of the humidity condition of the foliage at the contamination time was considered. For a given plant species at a given vegetative stage, the four radionuclides were intercepted in an identical way. The interception varied from 30% for bean (young sprout) to 80% for lettuce (near maturity). The global transfer factor values were dependent on both the radionuclides and the plant species; nevertheless, a higher value was obtained for cesium, regardless of the plant and the rainfall (from 0.006 m2 kgfresh−1 for wheat-grains – contaminated at the shooting stage – or for bean-pods – contaminated at the pre-flowering stage – to 0.1 m2 kgfresh−1 for a whole lettuce). The analysis of the results allowed us on the one hand, to extract parameter values of the foliar transfer directly usable in operational codes, in particular those relating to barium and tellurium, unknown until then, and on the other hand, to lay the foundations of a future, more mechanistic model, taking into account the foliar processes in a finer way.

a- Laboratory of Radioecology and Ecotoxicology, Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, DEI/SECRE/LRE, Cadarache, Bld 186, BP 3, 13115, St-Paul-lez-Durance Cedex, France
b- Laboratory of Environmental Modelling, Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, DEI/SECRE/LME, Cadarache, Bld 159, BP 3, 13115, St-Paul-lez-Durance Cedex, France

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