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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.