[ RadSafe ] Chernobyl
S L Gawarecki
slgawarecki at gmail.com
Wed Oct 7 22:52:49 CDT 2015
Similarly, DOE's Oak Ridge Reservation has had an overabundance of deer due
to the large areas of undeveloped woodland. In 1985 annual managed hunts
were authorized to help control the population (commuters and residents
were running into deer on the roads) and proved to be very popular. Hunters
had to enter a lottery to get a permit. The State of Tennessee regulators
would check each deer for radiation contamination by counting one of the
long leg bones. The liver would also be taken. Over the years as open ponds
and other surficial contamination sources were remediated, the percentage
of deer confiscated for radioactive contamination has dropped to around 1%.
More hunt info at http://web.ornl.gov/sci/rmal/hunts/
Neil Giffen, the wildlife coordinator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who
works the check-out station for hunts, said the hottest deer ever taken was
an 86-pound, 5 1/2-year-old doe killed in 1999 on Copper Ridge near the old
Tower Shielding nuclear reactor site. The rad issue was strontium-90 in the
bones. Normal radiation background would be something on the order of 30 to
40 counts per 2 minutes, and Giffen said that doe registered 853 counts.
Authorities keep any deer with rad levels 1.5 times above background, he
said. Nearly all of the hot deer are due to strontium-90 (a bone-seeking
radionuclide). Giffen said only two deer have been restricted because of
cesium-137 concentration in the muscle.
I suspect most Tennessee hunters would gladly go shoot animals in
Chernobyl--and eat them.
SLGawarecki at gmail.com
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