Selection of Marine Bioindicators for Monitoring Radioactive Wastes Released from Nuclear Power Plants

by Letícia M. Mayr, Univ Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Rosane B. C. Moraes, Univ Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Aura C. L. F. Ferreira, Univ Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Jane B. N. Mauro, Univ Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastlines of Brazil


The Brazilian Nuclear Program comprises the Angra I Nuclear Power Plant, in operational tests; the Angra II Nuclear Power Plant, under construction, expected to be completed in 1992; and Angra III Nuclear Power Plant, still in its project stage. A research project was begun in 1978 to estimate the radiation doses which the population of the region where the plants are located might be exposed to and to determine the suitable biological indicators to radioactive contamination. Among the radionuclides released by the power plants, the radioisotopes of cobalt (Co), strontium (Sr), iodine (I) and cesium (Cs) were selected for the present work because they are potentially harmful to man, mainly when introduced in the food chain. Up to the present moment, the bioaccumulation factors (BF) of 60Co, 131I and 137Cs by the 'clam' Anomalocardia brasiliana and the biological half-life of cobalt and cesium in this animal were determined, as well as the BF of 131I by the 'barnacle' Megabalanus tintinnabulum and the incorporation of 85Sr by the 'snail' Strombus pugilis. These studies were made using the standard methodology for bioaccumulation and elimination in closed water systems. The microbial activity was also studied because of its importance related to the remobilization of the radioactive elements released by the power plant.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Biological processes | Radioactive wastes | Nuclear power | Water pollution | Construction management | Radiation | Radioactive materials | Brazil | South America

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