|Alfa-particle radioactivity of hot particles from the Esk estuary|
Hamilton, E.I. (1981). Alfa-particle radioactivity of hot particles from the Esk estuary. Nature (Lond.) 290(5808): 690-693
In: Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 0028-0836, more
Biota; Pollution monitoring; Radioactive contamination; Radioactive waste; Sediment analysis; Suspended particulate matter; Transuranic elements; Marine; Brackish water
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Transuranium radionuclides (Pu, Am and Cm) present in effluents discharged into the north-east Irish Sea by British Nuclear Fuels Limited, Windscale, Cumbria, UK, are found in sediment and biota of the Esk estuary 10 km to the south. The site of the present investigation was at Newbiggin and the materials examined were suspended particulate debris samples at the sea surface, bottom sediments and some forms of biota collected in September 1977. It is shown here that hot particles (defined as small volumes of material emitting alpha particles recorded in a dielectric detector as dense clusters of tracks from a common origin) found in the estuary are likely to be original effluent debris derived from the processing of Magnox uranium fuel elements and not formed in situ as a result of natural processes common to the estuary.