IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety



Study on transfers of uranium, thorium and decay products from grain, water and soil to chicken meat and egg contents

Journal of environmental monitoring / 2012, 14, pages 2170-2180


Activity concentrations of the uranium and thorium series radionuclides were determined in chicken meat and eggs as well as in soil, water and other dietary intakes of poultry at five sites of the French territory. These data allow the calculation of transfer coefficients which enrich the database given by the technical report series no. 472 of the IAEA. In egg contents, the highest activity concentrations (in−1 fresh weight) are for 226Ra, ranging between 136 and 190 and are much lower for uranium (between 0.51 and 1.30 for 238U). In chicken meat, 238U activity concentration is higher than in egg contents and ranges between 1.7 and 9.7. Concerning 232Th, its activity concentration is lower than uranium and ranges between 0.5 and 4.9. Daily ingested activity concentration by the animals was assessed taking into account the activity concentrations measured in the grains, in the soil and in the drinking water. The activity concentration in grains and the daily intakes allow the calculation of concentration ratios and transfer coefficients for chicken meat and egg contents. In chicken meat the transfer coefficients (−1) range between 0.0018 and 0.0073 for 238U and between 0.0008 and 0.0028 for 232Th. In egg contents they range from 0.00018 to 0.0018 for 238U and are much higher for radium isotopes (0.10–0.23 for 226Ra and 0.07–0.11 for 228Ra).


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