Category Archives: Nuclear Power and the Environment

Geological Disposal

1.1 The GDF Concept Geological disposal involves the emplacement and isolation of HAWs in an underground repository (a GDF), housed deep inside a suitable rock formation (see Figure 2). For UK purposes, the definition of geological disposal is ‘‘burial underground (200-1000 m) of radioactive waste in a purpose built facility with no intention to retrieve’’.1,4,5 Geological disposal facilities utilise a […]

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Quantification of Transfer to Animals

For human food chains, the transfer of radionuclides to milk and meat has previously been commonly quantified using the transfer coefficient defined as the equilibrium ratio between the radionuclide activity concentration in milk (Fm; dl-1 or dkg-1) or meat (Ff dkg-1) and the daily dietary radionuclide intake. Transfer coefficients for smaller animals are higher than those for larger animals, and […]

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Thorium

The commonest isotope of thorium, 232Th, is fertile, being converted by neutron irradiation to the fissile 233U. However, there is no thermally fissile isotope of thorium available in nature in usable amounts, so it is not possible to construct an entirely thorium-fuelled reactor. Any thorium-fuelled reactor therefore has to use a fissile material such as 233U, 235U or 239Pu to […]

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Remediation

A number of different techniques are available for the remediation of both groundwater and soils and can be categorised into biological, chemical and physical treatments. This review will look to provide an overview of some of these key techniques and will then focus on a number of case studies where these methods have been applied in the field. The advantages […]

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Sources of Radionuclides in the Environment

1.1 Nuclear Weapons Nuclear weapons tests account for a significant proportion of the total activity released into the environment and historically are the major source of radio­nuclides in the atmosphere. An estimated 2 x 108 TBq of radioactivity have been released into the atmosphere as a result of nuclear weapons testing;3 Table 1 lists the radionuclides produced and released by […]

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The ICRP’s System of Protection

The primary aim of the ICRP’s Recommendations is to contribute to an appropriate level of protection for people and the environment against the detrimental effects of radiation exposure, without unduly limiting the desirable human actions that may be associated with such exposure. In protecting individuals, it is the control (in the sense of restriction) of radiation doses that is important, […]

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Nuclear Accidents

J. T. SMITH ABSTRACT In the wake of the Fukushima accident, this chapter provides a summary and comparison of the four previous major accidents in the history of exploitation of nuclear power for military and civilian purposes: Wind — scale, Kyshtym, Three-Mile Island (TMI) and Chernobyl. The events leading to each accident, and their consequences to environmental and human health, […]

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Radiation Protection of the Environment: A Summary of Current Approaches for Assessment of Radionuclides in Terrestrial Ecosystems

B. J. HOWARD* AND N. A. BERESFORD ABSTRACT Over the past decade the international community has recognised the need to demonstrate that wildlife populations are protected from environmental releases of radioactivity as well as humans. Frameworks and models for such assessments have been developed and are continuously being tested and improved. In this chapter, the basic elements of an assessment […]

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