Between 1986 and 1994, a decrease in nonalimentary 90Sr and 137Cs intake and changes in the accessibility of radionuclides in the soil-plant link of their cycle resulted in a 10-to 100-fold decrease in their specific activity (SA) in the bodies of small mammals inhabiting the Chernobyl zone, and a similar decrease was observed in the radionuclide transition factor (TF) in the soil-animal chain. Between 1995 and 2005, no consistent increase or decrease in SA or TF could be revealed against the background of a combined effect of different physicochemical and ecological factors. It is suggested that subsequent changes in the level of radioactive contamination of small mammals will generally reflect only the dynamics of physical 90Sr and 137Cs decay, but, nevertheless, seasonal and local variations in this level will be significant.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 9, 2007
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