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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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137Cs baseline levels in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: a cross-basin survey of the CIESM Mediterranean Mussel Watch Programme.


Journal title : Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume : 57
Issue : 6-12
Pagination : 801-806
Publication date : 01/09/2008

Summary

  The common mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis was selected as unique biomonitor species to implement a regional monitoring programme, the CIESM Mediterranean Mussel Watch (MMW), in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. As of today, and upon standardization of the methodological approach, the MMW Network has been able to quantify 137Cs levels in mussels from more than 50 coastal stations and to produce the first distribution map of this artificial radionuclide at the scale of the entire Mediterranean and Black Seas. While measured 137Cs levels were found to be very low (usually < 1 Bq kg-1 wet wt) 137Cs activity concentrations in the Black Sea and North Aegean Sea were up to two orders of magnitude higher than those in the western Mediterranean Basin. Such effects, far from representing a threat to human populations or the environment, reflect a persistent signature of the Chernobyl fallout in this area.

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