EFFECTIVE HALF-LIFE OF CESIUM-137 IN VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

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During the operational history of the Savannah River Site (SRS), many different radionuclides have been released from site facilities into the SRS environment. However, only a relatively small number of pathways, most importantly {sup 137}Cs in fish and deer, have contributed significantly to doses and risks to the public. The “effective” half-lives (T{sub e}) of {sup 137}Cs (which include both physical decay and environmental dispersion) in Savannah River floodplain soil and vegetation and in fish and white-tailed deer from the SRS were estimated using long-term monitoring data. For 1974–2011, the T{sub e}s of {sup 137}Cs in Savannah River floodplain soil ... continued below

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Jannik, T.; Paller, M. & Baker, R. December 12, 2013.

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During the operational history of the Savannah River Site (SRS), many different radionuclides have been released from site facilities into the SRS environment. However, only a relatively small number of pathways, most importantly {sup 137}Cs in fish and deer, have contributed significantly to doses and risks to the public. The “effective” half-lives (T{sub e}) of {sup 137}Cs (which include both physical decay and environmental dispersion) in Savannah River floodplain soil and vegetation and in fish and white-tailed deer from the SRS were estimated using long-term monitoring data. For 1974–2011, the T{sub e}s of {sup 137}Cs in Savannah River floodplain soil and vegetation were 17.0 years (95% CI = 14.2–19.9) and 13.4 years (95% CI = 10.8–16.0), respectively. These T{sub e}s were greater than in a previous study that used data collected only through 2005 as a likely result of changes in the flood regime of the Savannah River. Field analyses of {sup 137}Cs concentrations in deer collected during yearly controlled hunts at the SRS indicated an overall T{sub e} of 15.9 years (95% CI = 12.3–19.6) for 1965–2011; however, the T{sub e} for 1990–2011 was significantly shorter (11.8 years, 95% CI = 4.8–18.8) due to an increase in the rate of {sup 137}Cs removal. The shortest T{sub e}s were for fish in SRS streams and the Savannah River (3.5–9.0 years), where dilution and dispersal resulted in rapid {sup 137}Cs removal. Long-term data show that T{sub e}s are significantly shorter than the physical half-life of {sup 137}Cs in the SRS environment but that they can change over time. Therefore, it is desirable have a long period of record for calculating Tes and risky to extrapolate T{sub e}s beyond this period unless the processes governing {sup 137}Cs removal are clearly understood.

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  • Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2013-00725
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1117333
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc863672

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  • December 12, 2013

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  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 11:23 p.m.

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Jannik, T.; Paller, M. & Baker, R. EFFECTIVE HALF-LIFE OF CESIUM-137 IN VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, article, December 12, 2013; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc863672/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.