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Title Field observations of 110mAg, originating from the Chernobyl accident, in west Cumbrian vegetation and soil samples.CEH Staff publications
Name(s) Beresford, N A (Nick)
Publication 1989
Subjects T07051c2; CEH staff publication;
Abstract During the analyses of sheep and cattle tissues following the Chernobyl accident, the only nuclide routinely detected in the short count times being used, apart from the caesium isotopes and 131I, was 110Ag in the liver. Table 1 compares the activity concentration of 110Ag and 134Cs in the liver of sheep slaughtered during the first four months after deposition from various sites in Cumbria. The ratio of 110Ag to 134Cs ranged from 0.09 to 1.67 with a coefficient variation of 102%. From initial analyses of vegetation samples it was evident that 110Ag was a relatively minor constituent of the Chernobyl deposit, when compared with isotopes such as 134Cs, 137Cs, 103Ru and 106Ru. The ratio of 110Ag:134Cs was typically between 0.03 and 0.05. It was therefore evident that the transfer of 110Ag to sheep liver was higher than that of 134Cs. Caesium-134 is used in this article in preference to 137Cs as a comparison to 110Ag since 134Cs is likely to originate solely from Chernobyl whereas, in the area of Cumbria from which the samples were taken, relatively high levels of 137Cs resulting from weapons testing and the Windscale accident of 1957 could be expected. A review of the available literature showed that the behaviour of silver in the terrestrial environment is relatively poorly understood. A research programme to study the behaviour of 110Ag resulting from Chernobyl was therefore put into progress. The most important aspect of this work is the transfer of 110Ag to the liver of ruminants and results for laboratory and field studies conducted in 1986 and 1987 have been presented elsewhere. In this article, results for field observations of the transfer of 110Ag to vegetation are discussed.
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