Report No. 154 – Cesium-137 in the Environment: Radioecology and Approaches to Assessment and Management (2006)

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Sort Title : Report No. 154

ISBN : ISBN-13: 978-0-929600-91-8, ISBN-10: 0-929600-91-6

Scientific Committee :

  • F. Ward Whicker, Chairman
  • Charles T. Garten, Jr.
  • David M. Hamby
  • Kathryn A. Higley
  • Thomas G. Hinton
  • Daniel I. Kaplan
  • David J. Rowan
  • R. Gene Schreckhise

  • Consultants
  • Margaret M. MacDonell
  • John E. Pinder, III

Executive Summary

The overall goals of this Report are to summarize the current state of knowledge on radiocesium in the environment and to identify future management issues concerning Cs-137 contaminated ecosystems. Current knowledge and concepts are described concerning sources, levels in the general environment and at selected U.S. Department of Energy sites, environmental transport processes, parameters and models, and the management or mitigation of contaminated environments. This Report does not represent a comprehensive and exhaustive treatise on cesium in the environment. Rather, it is intended to provide a general review of knowledge about sources and levels, natural processes that explain the highly varied behavior of radiocesium in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, guidance for choosing transport parameters for dose and risk assessment models, and practical approaches that have been used to mitigate the impacts of significant levels of contamination. Uncertainties resulting from the use of generic parameters in environmental transport and exposure pathway models discouraged the adoption of specific parameters in this Report. Instead, the Report focuses on general environmental transport concepts and the ranges of parameter values that have been empirically measured or estimated in different situations. In many cases, the Report provides likely reasons for the wide ranges of parameter values that have been published. In practice, it is generally believed that site- and condition-specific measurements lead to the most credible assessments, so this approach is strongly recommended when possible.

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