Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill--Part III: Atmospheric deposition rates (pilot test)
Health Physics 78(6): 633-640
ISSN/ISBN: 0017-9078 PMID: 10832922 DOI: 10.1097/00004032-200006000-00005
Atmospheric deposition rates of uranium series radionuclides were directly measured at three sites near the operating Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Sites impacted by windblown tailings and mill dusts had elevated rates of uranium deposition near the mill and elevated 226Ra deposition near the tailings compared to a control site. Rainwater collectors, dust jars, and passive vinyl collectors previously used at the Ranger Mine in Australia were pilot-tested. Adhesive vinyl surfaces (1 m2) were oriented horizontally, vertically, and facing the ground as a means of measuring gravitational settling, wind impaction, and soil resuspension, respectively. Although the adhesive glue on the vinyls proved difficult to digest, relative differences in deposition mode were found among radionuclides and among sites. Dry deposition was a more important transport mechanism for uranium, 226Ra, and 210Pb than rainfall, while more 210Po was deposited with rainfall.