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Anthropogenic radioactivity in the Arctic Ocean — review of the results from the joint German project
Nies, H.; Harms, I.H.; Karcher, M.J.; Dethleff, D.; Bahe, C. (1999). Anthropogenic radioactivity in the Arctic Ocean — review of the results from the joint German project. Sci. Total Environ. 237-238: 181-191. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/s0048-9697(99)00134-5
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Plutonium; Radionuclides; Marine
Author keywords
    137Cs; 90Sr; Arctic Ocean

Authors  Top 
  • Nies, H.
  • Harms, I.H.
  • Karcher, M.J.
  • Dethleff, D.
  • Bahe, C.

Abstract
    The paper presents the results of the joint project carried out in Germany in order to assess the consequences in the marine environment from the dumping of nuclear wastes in the Kara and Barents Seas. The project consisted of experimental work on measurements of radionuclides in samples from the Arctic marine environment and numerical modelling of the potential pathways and dispersion of contaminants in the Arctic Ocean. Water and sediment samples were collected for determination of radionuclide such as 137Cs, 90Sr, 239+240Pu, 238Pu, and 241Am and various organic micropollutants. In addition, a few water and numerous surface sediment samples collected in the Kara Sea and from the Kola peninsula were taken by Russian colleagues and analysed for artificial radionuclides by the BSH laboratory. The role of transport by sea ice from the Kara Sea into the Arctic Ocean was assessed by a small subgroup at GEOMAR. This transport process might be considered as a rapid contribution due to entrainment of contaminated sediments into sea ice, following export from the Kara Sea into the transpolar ice drift and subsequent release in the Atlantic Ocean in the area of the East Greenland Current. Numerical modelling of dispersion of pollutants from the Kara and Barents Seas was carried out both on a local scale for the Barents and Kara Seas and for long range dispersion into the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Three-dimensional baroclinic circulation models were applied to trace the transport of pollutants. Experimental results were used to validate the model results such as the discharges from the nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield and subsequent contamination of the North Sea up the Arctic Seas.

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