Airborne Radioactive Contamination in Inhabited Areas

Airborne Radioactive Contamination in Inhabited Areas

1st Edition - August 14, 2009

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  • Editor: K.G. Andersson
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080914251

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For many decades, investigations of the behaviour and implications of radioactive contamination in the environment have focused on agricultural areas and food production. This was due to the erroneous assumption that the consequences of credible contaminating incidents would be restricted to rural areas. However, due to the Chernobyl accident, more than 250,000 persons were removed from their homes, demonstrating a great need for knowledge and instruments that could be applied to minimise the manifold adverse consequences of contamination in inhabited areas. Also, today the world is facing a number of new threats, including radiological terrorism, which would be likely to take place in a city, where most people would become directly affected. A recent report from the US Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism concludes that it is most likely that a large radiological, or even nuclear, terror attack on a major city somewhere in the world will occur before 2013. For the first time ever, the specific problems of airborne radioactive contamination in inhabited areas are treated in a holistically covering treatise, pinpointing factorial interdependencies and describing instruments for mitigation. The state-of-the-art knowledge is here explained in Airborne Radioactive Contamination in Inhabited Areas  y leading scientists in the various disciplines of relevance.

Key Features

  • Unique holistic description of airborne radioactive contamination of inhabited areas and its consequences
  • State-of-the-art information on problems associated with both accidental and malicious contamination events, in particularly 'dirty bombs'
  • Detailed description of processes and parameters governing the severity of contaminating incidents
  • Written by key experts in the world


ecologists, environmental scientists

Table of Contents

  • Foreword

    1. Potential sources of contamination in inhabited areas
    1.1. Introduction
    1.2. Background
    1.3. Accidents at nuclear installations
    1.4. Accidents with highly radioactive sources
    1.5. Transport accidents
    1.6. Nuclear powered satellites entering the atmosphere
    1.7. Malicious use of radiation and radiological terrorism
    1.8. References

    2. The dispersion, deposition and resuspension of atmospheric contamination in the outdoor urban environment
    2.1. Introduction
    2.2. Modelling of radionuclide dispersion
    2.3. Physical forms of radionuclides in the environment
    2.4. Dry deposition
    2.4.1. Atmospheric dry deposition mechanisms
    2.4.2. Physical factors affecting deposition velocity
    2.4.3. Dry deposition in the urban environment
    2.5. Wet deposition
    2.5.1. The below-cloud scavenging of particulate materials
    2.5.2. The wet deposition of gases
    2.5.3 Retention of deposited material by surfaces
    2.5.4. Deposition in fog or cloud
    2.6. The resuspension of deposited material
    2.6.1. Factors affecting resuspension
    2.6.2. Wind generated resuspension
    2.6.3. Resuspension from roads
    2.7. References

    3. Airborne contamination inside dwellings
    3.1. Introduction
    3.2. Ingression of contaminants into dwellings
    3.3. Deposition and removal of contaminants on indoor surfaces
    3.3.1. Deposition Background theory A review of experimental research to establish likely ranges of deposition parameter values A review of experimental work to establish influencing factors
    3.3.2. Removal of contaminants from indoor surfaces
    3.4. Resuspension
    3.4.1. Background theory
    3.4.2. A summary of selected studies, to establish likely ranges of resuspension parameter values
    3.4.3. A review of published work to establish the influencing factors on aerosol resuspension
    3.5. References

    4. Contamination of humans: in respiratory tract and on body surfaces
    4.1. Introduction
    4.2. Biological effects of radiation on the respiratory tract
    4.2.1. Epidemiological studies
    4.2.2. The ICRP lung model Morphology and physiology Deposition model Clearance Model Validation of the ICRP model with measurement data
    4.3. Biological effects of radiation on the skin
    4.3.1. The structure of the human skin
    4.3.2. Dose implications of radioactive contamination of the skin
    4.4. Contaminant exposure and clearance on humans
    4.4.1. Airborne contaminant deposition on human skin, hair and clothing
    4.4.2. Aerosol deposition velocities to humans Aerosol deposition velocities to skin Aerosol deposition velocities to clothing Aerosol deposition velocities to hair
    4.4.3. Contact transfer of contaminants to humans
    4.4.4. Natural clearance of contaminants from humans
    4.5. References

    5. Migration of radionuclides on outdoor surfaces
    5.1. Introduction
    5.2. Influence of initial physico-chemical forms of deposited contaminants
    5.3. Migration of radionuclides in areas of soil in an inhabited environment
    5.3.1. Selective fixation of caesium in soil minerals
    5.3.2. Retention in soil of contaminant ions by different mechanisms
    5.3.3. Binding strength and migration of contaminants in areas of soil
    5.4. Migration of radionuclides on anthropogeneous surfaces in an inhabited environment
    5.4.1. Migration of contamination deposited on roofs
    5.4.2. Migration of contamination deposited on walls
    5.4.3. Migration of contamination deposited on horizontal paved surfaces
    5.5. References

    6. Estimation of doses in inhabited areas
    6.1. Introduction
    6.2. Why models are needed
    6.3. External dose rate from contaminated surfaces
    6.3.1. Initial deposition to different surfaces
    6.3.2. Behaviour of material following deposition
    6.3.3. External dose rate from gamma irradiation
    6.3.4. External dose rate from beta irradiation
    6.4. Ingestion dose from food contaminated in inhabited areas
    6.5. Other possible dose contributions in the inhabited environment
    6.6. Examples of calculated dose rates
    6.6.1. Illustrative calculations of dose components for a dry deposition case Contamination on streets Contamination on roofs Contamination on walls Contamination on open (grassed) soil areas Contamination on trees and shrubs Contamination on indoor surfaces Contamination on humans Contamination inhaled during the plume passage External irradiation from the contaminated plume Contamination in locally produced food Discussion of dose calculations
    6.6.2. Example of external dose calculations made with a complex model
    6.7. Doses from non-anthropogenic sources
    6.8. Current and future inhabited area dose model trends and needs
    6.8.1. Initial deposition
    6.8.2. Weathering
    6.8.3. Calculating dose rate from contamination on different surfaces
    6.8.4. Behaviour of people
    6.8.5. The choice of model
    6.8.6. Future work needed
    6.9. References

    7. Measurement and screening of contaminated inhabited areas
    7.1. Introduction
    7.2. Main issues to be considered when designing contamination monitoring capabilities
    7.3. Objectives and scope of contamination measurements and screening
    7.4. Instrumentation
    7.4.1. Measurement of pure alpha emitters
    7.4.2. Measurement of pure beta emitters
    7.4.3. Measurement of gamma emitters
    7.5. Contamination monitoring techniques, basic elements of a comprehensive monitoring programme
    7.5.1. Air contamination monitoring
    7.5.2. Large area contamination monitoring
    7.5.3. Sampling and measurement of the soil concentration of radionuclides
    7.5.4. Surface contamination monitoring
    7.5.5. Characterization of the contamination by dose rate measurements
    7.5.6. Personal monitoring
    7.5.7. QA measurements
    7.6. Scenarios
    7.7. Measurement of dose rates
    7.8. Screening of contamination level
    7.9. References

    8. Countermeasures for reduction of dose in contaminated inhabited areas
    8.1. Introduction
    8.2. Types of countermeasures
    8.2.1. Countermeasures for reduction of doses from different exposure pathways
    8.2.2. Countermeasures for different time phases
    8.2.3. Countermeasures for decontamination or shielding
    8.2.4. Countermeasures for different surfaces
    8.2.5. Countermeasure alternatives for different area sizes: an example
    8.3. Systematic countermeasure descriptions
    8.4. Management of waste generated by countermeasures
    8.4.1. Management of clean-up waste prior to disposal Loading and transportation Waste storage Filtration of solid particles out of waste water Treatments for contaminants in liquid waste Reduction of volume of organic waste Stabilisation of solid waste to avoid migration of contaminants
    8.4.2. Waste disposal options
    8.5. References

    9. Non-radiological perspectives – holistic value assessment of countermeasure strategies
    9.1. Introduction
    9.2. Holistic assessment of countermeasures
    9.2.1. Assessing countermeasure strategies
    9.3. General ethical issues
    9.3.1. Disruption of everyday life and self-help
    9.3.2. Free informed consent of workers (to risks of radiation exposure and/or chemical exposure) and consent of private owners for access to property
    9.3.3. Distribution of dose, costs and benefits
    9.3.4. Liability and/or compensation for unforeseen health or property effects
    9.3.5. Animal welfare issues
    9.3.6. Change in public perception or use of an amenity
    9.3.7. Uncertainty
    9.3.8. Environmental risk from ecosystem changes, groundwater contamination, etc.
    9.3.9. Environmental consequences of waste generation and treatment (chemical and radioactive)
    9.4. The ethical matrix as a case specific tool for mapping ethical concerns
    9.5. Application to an inhabited area scenario
    9.5.1. Ethical assessment of lawn mowing
    9.5.2. Ethical assessment of deep ploughing
    9.5.3. Ethical assessment of a holistic countermeasure strategy
    9.6. Social countermeasures
    9.6.1. Dietary advice
    9.6.2. Provision of counting/monitoring equipment
    9.6.3. Do nothing
    9.6.4. Raising intervention limits
    9.6.5. Food labelling
    9.6.6. Compensation scheme
    9.6.7. Information/Advice bureau
    9.6.8. Education programme in schools
    9.6.9. Medical check up
    9.6.10. Stakeholder and public consultation methods
    9.7. Stakeholder involvement as a social management option
    9.7.1. Arguments for a wider inclusion of citizens and stakeholders in ethical assessments and decision making
    9.7.2. A good consultation process is an ethical issue Representativeness Transparency and openness Accountability and influence
    9.8. References

    10. Strategies for restoration of contaminated inhabited areas
    10.1. Introduction
    10.2. Overall purposes and criteria for restoration strategies
    10.3. Influences of type and scale of the contaminating incident
    10.4. Practical examples of implementation of dose reduction strategies for inhabited areas
    10.4.1. Clean-up attempts by the Soviet army in 1989
    10.4.2. Clean-up tests in the Bryansk area in 1997
    10.5. Decision support tools
    10.5.1. Decision support handbooks
    10.5.2. Computerised decision support systems for consequence assessment
    10.5.3. Multi-criteria analysis tools for optimisation of countermeasure strategies
    10.6. References

    Concluding remarks

Product details

  • No. of pages: 368
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2009
  • Published: August 14, 2009
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080914251

About the Series Volume Editor

K.G. Andersson

Affiliations and Expertise

Risoe National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark

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