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A review and model assessment of 32P and 33P uptake to biota in freshwater systems

By J.T. Smith, M.J. Bowes and C.R. Cailes


Bioaccumulation of key short-lived radionuclides such as 131I and 32,33P may be overestimated since concentration ratios (CRs) are often based on values for the corresponding stable isotope which do not account for radioactive decay during uptake via the food chain. This study presents estimates for bioaccumulation of radioactive phosphorus which account for both radioactive decay and varying ambient levels of stable P in the environment. Recommended interim CR values for radioactive forms of P as a function of bioavailable stable phosphorus in the water body are presented. Values of CR are presented for three different trophic levels of the aquatic food chain; foodstuffs from all three trophic levels may potentially be consumed by humans. It is concluded that current \ud recommended values of the CR are likely to be significantly over-estimated for radioactive phosphorus in many freshwater systems, particularly lowland rivers. Further research is recommended to fieldvalidate these models and assess their uncertainty. The relative importance of food-chain uptake and direct uptake from water are also assessed from a review of the literature. It can be concluded that\ud food-chain uptake is the dominant accumulation pathway in fish and hence accumulation factors for radioactive phosphorus in farmed fish are likely to be significantly lower than those for wild fish

Topics: Management, Ecology and Environment, Hydrology
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.12.006
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:12489

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