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Monitoring Chernobyl radiocaesium in Cubrian grass: 1996 to 1997. - RP0429

In 1987, MAFF commissioned a study in Cumbria to elucidate the factors which were controlling the uptake of radiocaesium by vegetation growing on upland soils. This work programme continued until autumn 1995, and has provided an unbroken series of measurements of the radiocaesium uptake into upland pasture on eight different soiltypes. A substantial effort has been invested in maintaining these field sites, and we propose to continue the study for a further year. In addition, we propose to interpret the results from the entire series of measurements and presentthe results in a form suitable for submission to a refereed journal. This project will help develop an understanding of the mechanisms which control radiocaesium uptake in upland pastures and will help in predicting the long-term behaviour of radiocaesium. This information can be used to help formulate countermeasures in the event of land contamination from a nuclear accident.
The scientific objectives of this project are: 1) to sample vegetation at the eight upland pasture sites at Corney fell and determine the radiocaesium contents of the samples; 2) to interpret the results of the 10 year field programme to determine the behaviour of radiocaesium in upland pastures. This will involve a small literature review; 3) to prepare a report in the form of a paper suitable for submission to a refereed journal.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1996

To: 1997

Cost: £12,297
Contractor / Funded Organisations
AEA Technology, Abingdon