Modelling marine trophic transfer of radiocarbon (14C) from a nuclear facility

Kieran M. Tierney, Johanna J. Heymans, Graham K.P. Muir, Gordon T. Cook, Joe Buszowski, Jeroen Steenbeek, William J. Walters, Villy Christensen, Gillian MacKinnon, John A. Howe, Sheng Xu

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sellafield marine discharges of 14C are the largest contributor to the global collective dose from the nuclear fuel industry. As such, it is important to understand the fate of these discharges beyond the limitations and scope of empirical analytical investigations for this highly mobile radioactive contaminant. Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) is widely used to model anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems, such as fishing, although very few EwE studies have modelled the fate of bioavailable contaminants. This work presents, for the first time, a spatial-temporal 14C model utilising recent developments in EwE software to predict the ecological fate of anthropogenic 14C in the marine environment. The model predicted observed trends in 14C activities between different species and through time. It also provided evidence for the integration of Sellafield 14C in species at higher trophic levels through time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-154
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Volume102
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling

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    Tierney, K. M., Heymans, J. J., Muir, G. K. P., Cook, G. T., Buszowski, J., Steenbeek, J., Walters, W. J., Christensen, V., MacKinnon, G., Howe, J. A., & Xu, S. (2018). Modelling marine trophic transfer of radiocarbon (14C) from a nuclear facility. Environmental Modelling and Software, 102, 138-154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.01.013