Production of agricultural goods under radioactive contamination conditions
Development of a set of measures for production of assured quality agricultural goods under radioactive contamination conditions
Tech Area / Field
- ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
8 Project completed
Senior Project Manager
National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakstan / Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology, Kazakstan, Kurchatov
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, WA, Richland\nInternational Atomic Energy Agency, Austria, Vienna
Project summaryThe accident at Fukushima has caused extensive pollution with artificial radionuclides in vast areas of Japan. Most of these areas were used for agriculture. Prohibition or restrictions of agriculture in the affected areas negatively affect the food security because of rapid urbanization in Japan. To produce agricultural goods that are safe in terms radiation parameters, it is must to characteristics of radionuclides distribution in tissues and organs of crops and animals. For animal feeding it is important to information about the dynamics of radionuclides in the tissues and organs of animals. Given the shortage of agricultural land it is essential for Japan to conduct activities that make it possible to reduce the transfer of radionuclides in crop products, which is the main in the human food basket and the diet of farm animals.
This research project is also important for the Republic of Kazakhstan. Outside of the STS, there are hundreds of square kilometers with transuranic radionuclides in the soil exceeding the background of global fallout ten times or more. For full safety assessment of economic activities in these areas there is shortage of the necessary experimental data for prediction of possible concentrations of radionuclides in agricultural products in case they are produced in the study area. There are no published data on transfer factors of transuranic radionuclides 239+240Pu and 241Am in agricultural products of both plant and animal origin. Given the growing activity of 241Am due to decay of 241Pu, and the half-life of transuranic elements in the long term (hundreds of years), the significance of these radionuclides in the formation of the parameters of the radiation situation in the STS and surrounding areas will increase.
Thus, the main goal of the project is to develop recommendations for production of assured quality agricultural goods to be produced in the conditions of radioactive contamination.
The data analyses presented by the Ministry of Agricultural, forestry and Fisheries (Statistical Handbook of Japan, 2010), showed that the most developed in Japan is swine breeding, beef and dairy cattle and poultry. Analysis of the international data showed the world that the transfer parameters of 137Cs and 90Sr into livestock products have well been studied, whereas data on pork and poultry products are scarce. No data we found on transuranic radionuclides in pig and poultry products. In addition, the world literature mostly provides data describing the transfer of radionuclides from plant foods, while the soil particles can contribute significantly to the overall intake of radionuclides. Therefore, in this project it is advisable to investigate the transfer of radionuclides into pig and poultry products at various forms of uptake (with soil, water and plant food). The data obtained will allow predicting the possible content of radionuclides in the products, and the data on the dynamics of the radionuclides concentration in the products at uptake and excretion of radionuclides will regulate the intake of radionuclides with diet for safe products.
According to the Ministry of Agricultural, forestry and Fisheries (Statistical handbook of Japan, 2010) in Japan out of crop products the dominating are rice, potatoes, cabbage, onions, sugar beets. Analysis of global data shows quite well-studied parameters of radionuclides transfer in these types of products. Therefore, the project will focus on the experimental evaluation of the effects of physical and chemical properties of soils on the radionuclides transfer in some types of crop products. In this project it is advisable to take following species of plants as research objects – potatoes, beets, cabbage and maize. The choice of these types of plants is based on:
- these species are quite common in Japan;
- they are the components of the diet of the animals (pigs and chickens) selected for study;
- these are the main species in the food basket of people;
- they may be produced in the climatic conditions of STS.
Thus, given the characteristics of agriculture in Japan and needs in these data we’ve identified three main objectives to achieve the Project Goals:
1. Study of features of animal products contamination with radionuclides.
1.1. Study of features of pork products contamination with radionuclides at various forms of uptake.
1.1.1. Study of features of pork products contamination with radionuclides at uptake with soil and water.
1.1.2. Study of features of pork products contamination with radionuclides at uptake with vegetable foods.
1.2. Study of features of poultry products contamination with radionuclides.
1.2.1. Study of features of poultry products contamination with radionuclides at uptake with soil and water.
1.2.2. Study of features of poultry products contamination with radionuclides at uptake with vegetable foods.
2. Study of features of radionuclide contamination of crop products used as feed for farm animals.
2.1. Investigation of effects of soil’s physical and chemical parameters on radionuclide contamination of food components of the plants studied.
2.2. Study of the distribution of radionuclides in the vegetative organs of the agricultural crops.
3. Development of recommendations for production of assured quality agricultural goods to be produced in the conditions of radioactive contamination.
Experimental data on the transfer of radionuclides in agricultural products will be obtained through field scale experiments with farm animals and plants in the conditions of radioactive contamination of STS. The experiments will be carried out in ecosystems with concentrations of artificial radionuclides 137Cs, 90Sr, 239+240Pu and 241Am in the environment. Different forms of radionuclides uptake in experimental animals with components of the diet (with soil, water, plants) will be considered in experiments with farm animals. In experiments with plants that make up the food supply for the test animals the distribution of radionuclides in inpidual organs of crops and effects of some physical and chemical properties of soil on their availability the studied species pabular part will be studied.
Conducting research under the selected tasks of the project will allow to for:
– obtain data on the distribution of radionuclides in pigs and poultry (chicken);
– determine transfer factors of radionuclides in pig and poultry products;
– determine the dynamics of radionuclide concentrations in pork and crop products at different forms of radionuclides uptake with components of the diet (soil, water and plant food);
– determine dynamics of radionuclides excretion from the body of pigs and chickens and set the half-periods of radionuclide concentrations in pig and poultry products when shifting to a "clean" diet;
– determine transfer factors of radionuclides in crops (potatoes, beets, cabbage, wheat), being the main food basket of people and diet of farm animals (pigs and chickens);
– experimentally to determine dependencies of radionuclide transfer into the studied species of wild and agricultural plants on the physical and chemical parameters of the soil.
Based on the totality of the data recommendations will developed to ensure the production of assured quality agricultural goods at its production in the conditions of radioactive contamination.
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