[ RadSafe ] Question on total river water activity ( RadSafe Digest, Vol 564, Issue 1)

Derek Putley derek.putley at serco.com
Fri Mar 11 02:20:39 CST 2011

Hi Jaro / Dan / All
The link below gives a list of reports published by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.
The RIFE-1 report dates back to 1995 and presents data on activity around UK nuclear sites, including effects on river water activity levels.
I've not looked at the other reports on that site.
Along the lines of Dan's posted remarks, radionuclide activity migration has been extensively studied around the Sellafield site. For example see:
and a quick search using key words like "Sellafield river contamination" should bring up further examples of this work.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu 
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Jaro Franta
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 19:05
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu 
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Question on total river water activity

Dear Radsafers,

Taking the example of a large river like the St. Lawrence, what would be the
total river water activity discharge rate ?

Eisenbud's Environmental Radioactivity says that typical "surface water"
Radium activity (only!) ranges from 4 - 19 Bq/m^3 It doesn't differentiate
between rivers or lakes as "surface water".

The St.Lawrence has a flow rate of 9,850 m^3/sec = 851E6 m^3/day or 0.3E12
m^3/y -- yielding about 3 GBq/y of Radium.

How much activity would the other uranium decay chain nuclides add to this
rough estimate ?

Also, would there be significant seasonal changes due to fertiliser runoff
from agricultural areas ? (phosphate fertiliser contains elevated
concentrations of uranium & daughters).

Finally, are there any published surveys that provide detailed statistics ?

Thanks in advance.

Best Regards

Derek Putley

Technical Area Lead (Criticality) 
Serco (Technical Services)
Thomson House, Risley, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 6GA, UK

This email and any attachments may contain confidential and/or 
privileged material; it is for the intended addressee(s) only. If 
you are not a named addressee, you must not use, retain or 
disclose such information.

Serco cannot guarantee that the email or any attachments are free 
from viruses.
The views expressed in this email are those of the originator and 
do not necessarily represent the views of Serco.

Nothing in this email shall bind Serco in any contract or 

Please note that all email messages sent to Serco are subject to 
monitoring / interception for lawful business purposes.

Serco Group plc.  Registered in England and Wales.  No: 2048608 
Registered Office:  Serco House, 16 Bartley Wood Business Park, 
Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UY, United Kingdom.
*****End Disclaimer********

More information about the RadSafe mailing list