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Assessment of naturally occurring radionuclides around England and Wales : application of the G-BASE dataset

By D.G. Jones, J.D. Appleton, N. Breward, A.C. MacKenzie, C. Scheib, N.A. Beresford, C.L. Barnett, M.D. Wood and D. Copplestone

Abstract

An assessment of the natural radiation dose to wildlife in England and Wales was\ud made to determine the contribution it may make to the total radiation dose estimated during\ud environmental impact assessments. Significant use was made of systematic datasets for environmental\ud media (stream sediments, stream waters and soils), in particular those produced by the Geochemical\ud Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE) project. This provided extensive, although variable,\ud coverage for different elements and sample types after normalisation of data to account for changes in\ud sampling and analysis over time. Almost complete coverage for K in stream sediments was achieved\ud by merging G-BASE and Wolfson Atlas data. This required normalisation of the Wolfson data to the\ud G-BASE results. Coverage was improved greatly for U and Th in sediments, and K, U and Th in\ud soils, by using the strong relationship between soils and sediments and geology (both solid and\ud superficial) to extrapolate the data. The total U, Th and K data were used to derive activity\ud concentrations of 238U and 232Th series radionuclides and 40K. External dose rates to wildlife were\ud then estimated from derived media concentrations; internal dose rates were estimated from measured\ud activities in biota or activities predicted using recommended concentration ratios

Topics: Ecology and Environment, Earth Sciences
Publisher: Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:8565

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