The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Accumulation of COGEMA-La Hague-derived reprocessing wastes in French salt marsh sediments

Accumulation of COGEMA-La Hague-derived reprocessing wastes in French salt marsh sediments
Accumulation of COGEMA-La Hague-derived reprocessing wastes in French salt marsh sediments
Over the past five decades, authorized low-level discharges from coastal nuclear facilities have released significant quantities of artificial radionuclides into the marine environment. In northwest Europe, the majority of the total discharge has derived from nuclear reprocessing activities at Sellafield in the United Kingdom and COGEMA-La Hague in France. At the Sellafield site, a significant amount of the discharges has been trapped in offshore fine sediment deposits, and notably in local coastal and estuarine sediments, and much research has been focused on understanding the distribution, accumulation, and reworking of long-lived radionuclides in these deposits. In contrast, there are few high-resolution published data on the vertical distribution of radionuclides in fine-grained estuarine sediments near, and downstream of, COGEMA-La Hague. This paper therefore examines the vertical distribution of a range of anthropogenic radionuclides in dated salt marsh cores from two estuaries, one adjacent to, and the other downstream of, the COGEMA-La Hague discharge point (the Havre de Carteret at Barneville-Carteret and the Baie de Somme, respectively). The radionuclides examined show a vertical distribution which predominantly reflects variations in input from COGEMA-La Hague (albeit much more clearly at Barneville-Carteret than at the Baie de Somme site), and Pu isotopic ratios are consistent with a La Hague, rather than weapons' fallout, source. Because of sediment mixing, the marshes apparently retain an integrated record of the La Hague discharges, rather than an exact reproduction of the discharge history. Sorption of radionuclides increases in the order 90Sr < 137Cs < 60Co < 239,240Pu, which is consistent with Kd values reported in the literature. In general, the radionuclide activities observed at the sites studied are low (particularly in comparison with salt marsh sediments near the Sellafield facility), but are similar to those found in areas of fine sedimentation in the central Channel. These marshes are not major sinks for discharged reprocessing wastes.
0013-936X
4990-4997
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Warwick, Phillip E.
f2675d83-eee2-40c5-b53d-fbe437f401ef
Oh, Jung-Suk
378438c5-3aa8-492f-b31f-268b37f40924
Haslett, Simon K.
376a38c4-4aed-4720-8188-746837a1d4dd
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Warwick, Phillip E.
f2675d83-eee2-40c5-b53d-fbe437f401ef
Oh, Jung-Suk
378438c5-3aa8-492f-b31f-268b37f40924
Haslett, Simon K.
376a38c4-4aed-4720-8188-746837a1d4dd

Cundy, Andrew B., Croudace, Ian W., Warwick, Phillip E., Oh, Jung-Suk and Haslett, Simon K. (2002) Accumulation of COGEMA-La Hague-derived reprocessing wastes in French salt marsh sediments. Environmental Science & Technology, 36 (23), 4990-4997. (doi:10.1021/es020098c).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Over the past five decades, authorized low-level discharges from coastal nuclear facilities have released significant quantities of artificial radionuclides into the marine environment. In northwest Europe, the majority of the total discharge has derived from nuclear reprocessing activities at Sellafield in the United Kingdom and COGEMA-La Hague in France. At the Sellafield site, a significant amount of the discharges has been trapped in offshore fine sediment deposits, and notably in local coastal and estuarine sediments, and much research has been focused on understanding the distribution, accumulation, and reworking of long-lived radionuclides in these deposits. In contrast, there are few high-resolution published data on the vertical distribution of radionuclides in fine-grained estuarine sediments near, and downstream of, COGEMA-La Hague. This paper therefore examines the vertical distribution of a range of anthropogenic radionuclides in dated salt marsh cores from two estuaries, one adjacent to, and the other downstream of, the COGEMA-La Hague discharge point (the Havre de Carteret at Barneville-Carteret and the Baie de Somme, respectively). The radionuclides examined show a vertical distribution which predominantly reflects variations in input from COGEMA-La Hague (albeit much more clearly at Barneville-Carteret than at the Baie de Somme site), and Pu isotopic ratios are consistent with a La Hague, rather than weapons' fallout, source. Because of sediment mixing, the marshes apparently retain an integrated record of the La Hague discharges, rather than an exact reproduction of the discharge history. Sorption of radionuclides increases in the order 90Sr < 137Cs < 60Co < 239,240Pu, which is consistent with Kd values reported in the literature. In general, the radionuclide activities observed at the sites studied are low (particularly in comparison with salt marsh sediments near the Sellafield facility), but are similar to those found in areas of fine sedimentation in the central Channel. These marshes are not major sinks for discharged reprocessing wastes.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 December 2002

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 1260
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1260
ISSN: 0013-936X
PURE UUID: 19f2ce83-27ce-4507-a2de-9469d2a2df3b
ORCID for Andrew B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Apr 2004
Last modified: 07 Nov 2019 01:30

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Andrew B. Cundy ORCID iD
Author: Ian W. Croudace
Author: Jung-Suk Oh
Author: Simon K. Haslett

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×