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The 2003 field activity will be mainly dedicated to coring activity which includes: 1. the sampling of snow and ice cores from a Ny-Ålesund nearby glacier (midre Lovenbreen). 2. the collection of near coast (Kongsfjorden) and lakes sediments (maximum under pack depth 30 m). Sampling collection of ice and sediment cores will be performed using a portable, electric operated, sampling corer. The transport of all materials up to each sampling station should be performed with snowcats.
The aims of the project are: - to evaluate the fluxes of radionuclides in the water column and their accumulation in the sediment, on a short-time scale; - to determine the C/N and delta13C-delta15N ratios in suspended and sedimentary matter, and test their use as tracers of origin, composition and transformation pathways of organic particles. The selected study area is the Kongsfjord-Krossfjord system, Svalbard, considered as representative test-site for studying processes occurring in Arctic fjords. The focus of the project will be on the processes occurring at the glacier-sea interface, where enhanced lithogenic and biogenic particle fluxes are reported in summer. Specific methods will be used to trace the particle sources. The rate of accumulation-resuspension processes will also be investigated from the inner fjord to the outer continental shelf.
Radioactivity in the Arctic environment is a central topic within environmental pollution issues. Increased discharges of technetium-99 (99Tc) from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant Sellafield to the Irish Sea has caused public concerns in Norway. This project (acronym “RADNOR”) includes model and monitoring assessments and improvements, assessment of current and novel abiotic and biotic dose parameters and dose calculations and use of realistic climatic background scenarios in order to assess corresponding consequences for transport of radioactive pollutants. RADNOR consists of three main components: part 1, the determination of levels and time series of 99Tc in benthic and pelagic food webs; part 2, containing working packages on improvements to the understanding of site-specific and time-dependent sediment-water interactions (KD), kinetics of accumulation (CF) and body distribution in marine organisms, including contaminated products for the alginate industry and part 3, dealing with model hindcasts and observations for spreading of 99Tc from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant during the 1990s and improvement of the NRPA dose assessment box model. From the model outputs, doses to man and environment will be calculated resulting in a valuable database for use within environmental management and for decision makers.
The determination of radionuclide levels, their temporal and spatial variations and investigations concerning Arctic-specfic processes providing insight into radionuclide behaviour in the extreme environments and long-range transport of contaminants to Svalbard.
The selected study area in Svalbard is consideres a representative test-site for studying processes occurring in Arctic fjords. The focus of the project is on the processes occurring at the glacier-sea interface, where enhanced lithogenic and biogenic particle fluxes are reported in summer.Specific methods are used to trace the particle sources. The rate of accumulation-resuspenion precesses is also investigated from the inner fjord to the outer continental shelf.
During 2000, observations under the framework of control of radioactive contamination were continued at 34 sites of the State System of Radiation Monitoring in the Russian Arctic. At all stations, daily monitoring of exposure dose strength of gamma emissions, and daily sampling of radioactive fallout from the atmosphere to determine total beta-activity are conducted. At sites in Arkhangelsk, Naryan-Mar, Salekhard, Murmansk, Dikson Island, Zhelaniya Cape, Kheis Island and Kandalaksha, sampling of atmospheric aerosols and precipitation was performed for specific radioisotopic analysis, including determination of tritium. Samples of surface water for determination of levels of 90-Sr and tritium were collected at radioactive contamination control stations in the mouth regions of the largest rivers of the Russian Arctic (Severnaya Dvina, Pechora, Mezen, Ob, Yenisey, Khatanga, Indigirka). 26 samples were collected for this purposes in 2000. Samples for determination of 90-Sr in seawater were collected at relevant sites in the Barents Sea and White Sea.
We conducted gamma spectrometric analyses on more than 200 arctic marine mammal tissue samples. These samples were primarily provided by subsistence hunters from northern Alaska, with a smaller number of samples from the Resolute region in Canada. The majority of samples (>90% ) had detectable levels of the anthropogenic radionuclide 137Cs, with a mean level observed in all samples of 0.67 Bq kg-1 dry weight ±0.81 (SD). Converted to wet weight, the mean was 0.21 Bq kg-1 ±0.19 SD. The median activity observed was 0.45 Bq kg-1 dry weight (0.18 Bq kg-1 wet weight) with a range from detection limits to 6.7 Bq kg-1dry weight (1.1 Bq kg-l wet weight). These findings confirm expectations that current anthropogenic gamma emitter burdens in marine mammals used in the North American Arctic as subsistence food resources are well below activities that would normally merit public health concern (~1000 Bq kg-1 wet weight). Some differences among species and tissues were observed. Beluga tissues had slightly higher mean burdens of 137Cs overall, and epidermis and muscle tissues in bowhead and beluga whales typically had higher burdens than other tissues analyzed. Low levels of the neutron activation product l08mAg (half-life 418 yr.), probably bioaccumulated from bomb fallout sources, were observed in 16 of 17 beluga livers analyzed, but were not found in any other tissues of beluga or in any other species sampled. A subset of 39 samples of various tissues was analyzed for the alpha and beta emitters 239,240Pu and 90Sr. Plutonium levels were near the threshold of detectability (~0.1 Bq kg-1 dry weight) in 6 of the 39 samples; all other samples had no detectable plutonium. A detectable level of 90Sr (10.3 ±1.0 Bq kg-1 dry weight) was observed in only one of the 39 samples analyzed, a bowhead epidermis sample. Although the accumulation of 108mAg has not been previously reported in any marine mammal livers, all of our analytical measurements indicate that only very low levels of anthropogenic radioactivity are associated with marine mammals harvested and consumed in the North American Arctic.
Population monitoring of Gyrfalcon, Golden Eagle, Willow Grouse and Passerine birds
1: Cs-137 trend in marine sediments from East and West Greenland - to be compared with As data 2: Cs-137 in Greenland reindeer from areas with and without lichen
Monitoring the levels of radioactivity in water, sediments and biota
1) To perform simulation scenarios for the 21st century, including global warming scenarios, of potential radioactive spreading from sources in the Russian Arctic coastal zone and its impact on Barents, Greenland and Norwegian Seas and the Arctic Ocean; 2) To update the environmental and pollution data base of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP); 3) To assess, select and define the most probable simulation scenarios for accidental releases of radionuclides; 4) To implement a Generic Model System (GMS) consisting of several nested models designed to simulate radionuclides transport through rivers, in the Kara sea and in the Arctic ocean / North Atlantic; 5) To carry out simulation studies for the selected "release" scenarios of radionuclides, using various atmospheric forcing scenarios; 6) Assess the impact on potential radioactive spreading from sources as input to risk management.
To assess potential levels of radionuclides input into the Kara sea from existing and potential sources of technogenic radioactivity, located on the land in the Ob- and Yenisey rivers watersheds. Specific Objectives * To reveal and estimate a) most hazardous technogenic sources of radioactive contamination in the Ob- and Yenisey watersheds and b) the most possible and dangerous natural and technogenic (antrophogenic) situations (in the regions of these sources) that may result in release of radionuclides into the environment and may lead to significant changes in the radioactive contamination of the Kara sea * To estimate parameters of radionuclides (potential amount, composition, types etc.) under release to the environment from chosen sources as a result of accidents as well as during migration from the sources to the Kara sea through river systems * To set up a dedicated Database and a Geographic Information System (GIS) for modelling transport of radionuclides from the land-based sources to the Kara sea * To develop and create a dedicated model tool for simulation of radionuclides transport from land-based sources through Ob- and Yenisey river systems to the Kara sea
To investigate the impacts of Russia's military and civilian nuclear activities in the Kola Bay and adjacent areas of the northwest Arctic coast of Russia.
(1) Collate information relating to the environmental transfer and fate of selected radionuclides through aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the Arctic. (2) Identify reference Arctic biota that can be used to evaluate potential dose rates to biota in different terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments (3) Model the uptake of a suite of radionuclides, both natural and anthropogenic to reference Arctic biota (4) Develop a reference set of dose models for reference Arctic biota (5) Compile data on dose-effects relationships and assessments of potential radiological consequences for reference Arctic biota (6) Integrate assessments of environmental impact from radionuclides with those for other contaminants.
The project aims to carry out an environmental assessment of the marine environment close to the three main settlements in the Isfjorden complex; Barentsburg, Longyearbyen and Pyramiden. The study comprises analyses of sediment geochemistry and soft-bottom benthic fauna. Attention is given to distinguishing atmospheric transport of contaminants from those arising from local sources.
It is suggested to analyse a variety of samples from Greenland and the Faroe Islands for radionuclides. The technetium pulse now under way from England will be surveyed in seawater, seaweed and shrimp, and time trends in concentrations of caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium will be monitored in selected components of marine, fresh water and terrestrial environments. As far as possible, the sampling programme is coordinated with other sampling programmes in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. It is suggested to re-investigate the weapons plutonium pollution in Bylot Sound off Pituffik on a 5-year basis i.e. year 2002 in the present AMAP programme
The benthic marine environment in Bylot Sound off the Thule Air Base was contaminated with ca. 1.4 TBq 239,240Pu (ca. 0.5 kg) in 1968. The site was revisited August 1997 aiming mainly at a new inventory estimate and at quantifying transfer to benthic biota.
Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) were sampled (1995-96) from a mortality event near the Project Chariot site (NW Alaska), the location of a radiotracer experiment in the 1960’s, and reference sites. Radionuclide levels in muscle and bone and the cause(s) of the mortality were determined due to concerns of local residents. Bone gross alpha mean activity (n = 65) was 130.0 Bq/kg, and varied significantly (< 0.01) from 73.3 to 168.0 Bq/kg among locations. Bone and muscle gross beta mean activity was 510.4 and 9.78 Bq/kg. Bone strontium-90 mean activity (n = 58) was 137.8 Bq/kg. Muscle potassium-40 mean activity (n = 65) was 183.0 Bq/kg, and significantly varied from 76.0 to 104.4 Bq/kg by location. Muscle cesium-137 mean activity (n = 65) was 6.67 Bq/kg, ranged significantly from 0.74 to 15.6 Bq/kg by location, and increased with increasing body condition score. Bone potassium-40 mean activity ranged from 18.9 to 47.4 Bq/kg, and muscle strontium-90 ranged from 8.89 to 20.0 Bq/kg. Radionuclide concentrations were at expected levels and low in some cases as compared to Canadian caribou studies.