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Uptake and elimination of radiocaesium in fish and the size effect

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Professor Jim Smith
  • A. Kudelsky
  • I. Ryabov
  • S. Daire
  • L. Boyer
  • R. Blust
  • J. Fernandez-Suarez
  • R. Hadderingh
  • O. Voitsekhovitch
A number of hypotheses have previously been developed concerning the rates of uptake and elimination of radiocaesium (137Cs) in fish. These include the influence of potassium and other water chemical parameters on both uptake and elimination, and the effect of fish size on accumulation. In order to test these hypotheses, we have assembled a data set comprising more than 1000 measurements of radiocaesium (137Cs) in predatory fish (perch, pike and brown trout) in nine European lakes during the years after Chernobyl. These data have been analysed using simple models for uptake and excretion of 137Cs in fish, showing that: 1. Fish water concentration factors (CF) were inversely proportional to potassium [K+] concentration of the different lakes, in agreement with previous studies. 2. The uptake rate of 137Cs in fish was negatively correlated with lake [K+], but excretion rate was independent of [K+]. 3. Lower than expected CF values were found in one lake, Iso Valkjarvi, Finland. This is attributed to inhibition of the K+ (and therefore 137Cs) high affinity transport system in aquatic plants and fish by low pH and/or low Ca2+. 4. The inclusion of fish weight as a parameter in our dynamic model significantly improves the ability of the model to fit the observed measurements of 137Cs. 5. The model developed from the above hypotheses was able to fit the data from nine different lakes to within approximately a factor of 3 of the observed values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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