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, 83 (2), 231-52

Chernobyl Radioactivity Persists in Reindeer

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Chernobyl Radioactivity Persists in Reindeer

Lavrans Skuterud et al. J Environ Radioact.

Abstract

Transfer of 137Cs in the soil-plant/lichen-reindeer food chain was studied in central (Østre Namdal) and southern Norway (Vågå) during 2000-2003. Reindeer from these areas have been continuously subjected to countermeasure application since the 1986 Chernobyl accident. In both areas no decline in 137Cs concentrations was detectable in reindeer slaughtered in autumn since 1995, or in reindeer slaughtered in winter since 1998-1999. Seasonal differences in 137Cs concentrations in reindeer have been less pronounced in recent years, with 137Cs concentrations occasionally higher in autumn than in winter. Soil-to-plant 137Cs transfer was significantly higher in Østre Namdal than in Vågå. Climatic influences on lichen growth and abundance, and on soil properties that influence the availability of 137Cs for plant uptake, are hypothesized to have a larger impact on long-term transfer of radiocaesium in the soil-plant/lichen-reindeer food chain than has been previously observed.

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