Global and Local Effects of 14C Discharges from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
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CitationMcCartney, M., Baxter, M. S., McKay, K., & Scott, E. M. (1986). Global and local effects of 14C discharges from the nuclear fuel cycle. Radiocarbon, 28(2A), 634-643.
PublisherAmerican Journal of Science
DescriptionFrom the 12th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Trondheim, June 24-28, 1985.
AbstractThe radiologic impact of 14C produced by the nuclear fuel cycle is assessed at both global and local levels. In the former context, it is predicted here that the specific activity of atmospheric CO2 in the year 2050 will be ca 7.6 pCig^(-1)C. Although this is similar to the present level, the subsequent collective dose commitment could be highly significant. The enhancement of 14C concentrations around the nuclear fuel-reprocessing plant at Sellafield (Windscale) in Cumbria, UK has been monitored over recent years. For example, maximum levels of 27.2 pCig^(-1)C (~350% above natural) during 1984 were observed <1 km from the plant, with enhanced activities detectable to at least 29km. Nevertheless, it is clear that the radiologic significance to the local population is low. The spatial distribution of the excess 14C allows atmospheric dispersion models to be tested in the context of continuous releases and the results thus far show that the Gaussian plume model performs successfully.