Radionuclide activity concentrations in forest surface fuels at the Savannah River site
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Journal of Environmental Management. 115: 217-226
A study was undertaken at the United States Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, South Carolina to investigate radionuclide activity concentrations in litter and duff from select areas at SRS. Litter (i.e., vegetative debris) and duff (i.e., highly decomposed vegetative debris) can often be the major fuels consumed during prescribed burns and have potential to release radiological contaminants into the environment. Repeated samples from 97 locations were collected systematically across SRS and analyzed for radionuclide activity. Radionuclide activity concentrations found in litter and duff were compared. As spatial trends were of interest, spatial distributions of radionuclide activity concentrations found in litter and duff and spatial dependency amongst the data were explored. To date, few studies characterize radionuclide activity concentrations in litter and duff. And to our knowledge none present spatial analysis. The results found herein provide valuable baseline monitoring data for future studies of forest surface fuels and can be used to evaluate changes in radioactivity in surface fuels in the southeast region of the U.S.
Keywordslitter; duff; surface fuels; radionuclides; fire; smoke
Hejl, Anna M.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Jannik, G. Timothy; Eddy, Teresa P.; Rathbun, Stephen L.; Commodore, Adwoa A.; Pearce, John L.; Naeler, Luke P. 2013. Radionuclide activity concentrations in forest surface fuels at the Savannah River site. Journal of Environmental Management. 115: 217-226.