United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Alternative Conceptual Models for Assessing Food Chain Pathways in Biosphere Models (NUREG/CR-6910)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: March, 2006
Date Published:
June, 2006

Prepared by:
B. A. Napier

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352

P. R. Reed, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Fuel, Engineering, and Radiological Research
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Job Code Y6469

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Abstract

This report describes alternative approaches to modeling the key processes in radionuclide transport in the biosphere. Because the focus of the NRC project Assessment of Food Chain Pathway Parameters in Biosphere Models is the food-chain models used in performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal facilities, models and approaches applicable over relatively long periods (more than one year) are evaluated, as opposed to approaches detailing radionuclide behavior over the shorter periods applicable to acute, accident-type, calculations. There are a number of important features and processes that all terrestrial biosphere models must address: these include radionuclide behavior in soils, interception of deposition onto vegetation, weathering of intercepted material from plant surfaces, foliar absorption and translocation within plants to other vegetative structures, uptake from soil by plant roots, and transfer from plants to animals and animal products.

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