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Radiation Dose Assessment Model for Terrestrial Flora and Fauna and Its Application to the Environment near Fukushima Accident

  • Received : 2019.12.09
  • Accepted : 2020.03.05
  • Published : 2020.03.31

Abstract

Background: To investigate radiological effects on biota, it is necessary to assess radiation dose for flora and fauna living in a terrestrial ecosystem. This paper presents a dynamic model to assess radioactivity concentration and radiation dose of terrestrial flora and fauna after a nuclear accident. Materials and Methods: Litter, organic soil, mineral soil, trees, wild crops, herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores are considered the major components of a terrestrial ecosystem. The model considers the physicochemical and biological processes of interception, weathering, decomposition of litter, percolation, root uptake, leaching, radioactive decay, and biological loss of animals. The predictive capability of the model was investigated by comparison of its predictions with field data for biota measured in the Fukushima forest area after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Results and Discussion: The predicted radioactive cesium inventories for trees agreed well with those for evergreens and deciduous trees sampled in the Fukushima area. The predicted temporal radioactivity concentrations for animals were within the range of the measured radioactivity concentrations of deer, wild boars, and black bears. The radiation dose for the animals were, for the whole simulation time, estimated to be much smaller than the lower limit (0.1 mGy·d-1) of the derived consideration reference level given by the International Commission on Radiological Protection for terrestrial flora and fauna. This suggested that the radiation effect of the accident on the biota in the Fukushima forest would be insignificant. Conclusion: The present dynamic model can be used effectively to investigate the radiological risk to terrestrial ecosystems following a nuclear accident.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)

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