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J Environ Radioact. 2014 Dec;138:170-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.08.018. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Model assessment of additional contamination of water bodies as a result of wildfires in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Author information

1
Polessie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve, Khoiniki, Belarus.
2
Institute of the Radiobiology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Gomel, Belarus.
3
Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Østerås, Norway; Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Ås, Norway.
4
Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Østerås, Norway. Electronic address: mark.dowdall@nrpa.no.

Abstract

Forest fires and wild fires are recognized as a possible cause of resuspension and redistribution of radioactive substances when occurring on lands contaminated with such materials, and as such are a matter of concern within the regions of Belarus and the Ukraine which were contaminated by the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Modelling the effects of such fires on radioactive contaminants is a complex matter given the number of variables involved. In this paper, a probabilistic model was developed using empirical data drawn from the Polessie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve (PSRER), Belarus, and the Maximum Entropy Method. Using the model, it was possible to derive estimates of the contribution of fire events to overall variability in the levels of (137)Cs and (239,240)Pu in ground air as well as estimates of the deposition of these radionuclides to specific water bodies within the contaminated areas of Belarus. Results indicate that fire events are potentially significant redistributors of radioactive contaminants within the study area and may result in additional contamination being introduced to water bodies.

KEYWORDS:

Belarus; Chernobyl; Deposition; Forest fire; Modelling

PMID:
25240987
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.08.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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