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Impact of anthropogenic inputs of naturally occuring radionuclides in the aquatic environment (Was AE0115 1/4/96) - AE1101

R&D Summary Objectives:- To investigate the environmental behaviour, distribution and impact in estuarine and shallow coastal marine environments, of enhanced concentrations of naturally-occurring radionuclides discharged from both nuclear and non-nuclear sources. Key Customer Purpose:- To enable MAFF to review and develop its policy on anthropogenic inputs of natural radionuclides to the aquatic environment on a sound scientific basis.
The data collected and interpreted during the course of this work will provide a sound basis for an improved understanding of the behaviour and distribution of natural radionuclides in the marine environment. This will be achieved through the measurement of 238U and 232Th natural series radionuclides in effluent, water samples and sediment. The relationship between, and the behaviour and concentration of, natural series radionuclides and other contaminants, e.g. nutrients, discharged from the same source, e.g. Albright & Wilson's Marchon phosphogypsum plant, will also be considered, as will the extent and rate of cleansing of the area following cessation of large volume discharges. These data will enable improved predictions to be made concerning similar situations elsewhere and will provide valuable information related to the transport of sediment and contaminants along the Cumbrian coast. An evaluation of the limited natural radionuclide data available for the Ribble Estuary will be initiated. An appropriate programme of work will be developed to reveal contaminant sinks and fluxes in and out of the Ribble, fluxes across the sediment-water interface and the effect that the various environments, e.g. saltmarsh, estuarine and shallow marine, have on the distributions of activity. These data will be utilised to aid the radiological assessments and authorisation reviews related to the liquid discharges from BNFL Springfields. The possible impact on the aquatic environment of enhanced levels of natural radionuclides discharged from other non-nuclear sites, e.g. oil pipe de-scaling, will be considered and an appropriate course of action will be proposed for implementation.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1993

To: 1996

Cost: £583,140
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Environmental monitoring              
Environmental Protection              
Water quality monitoring              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Marine