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Radiation Effects in Wetlands

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Nicolas Vega

on 6 May 2016

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Transcript of Radiation Effects in Wetlands

Radiation Effects in Wetlands
Bikini Atoll
Located in the Marshall Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean
Consists of 23 islands with a total of 3.4 sq miles
U.S. decided to resume nuclear testing from 1946 to 1958
Displaced 167 local inhabitants before testing
Total of 23 nuclear devices were detonated at seven different test sites located on the reef, inside the atoll, in the air, and underwater
Cumulative force of the tests in all was equivalent to 7,000 times that of the Hiroshima bomb
Radiation Effects
In 1968, following a number of radiological surveys, Bikini Atoll was safe for habitation and approved for resettlement
In 1975, the inhabitants filed a lawsuit against the US government to terminate the resettlement until a comprehensive radiological survey was carried out
With radiological data collected, the inhabitants were relocated again
The survey found out that large amounts of radioactive residues were found throughout the island
Measurements were made of the absorbed dose rate in the air and the concentration of radiological radionuclides in samples of food and soil found traces of radiation
Plants, animals, wells had high levels of radiation making the whole island not safe to consume food or water
Scientist began to find high levels of strontium-90 and eventually cesium-137
Strontium-90 is deposited in bones and causes bone cancer and leukemia
Cesium-137 causes burns, radiation sickness, and death; also increases the risk of cancer
Women were beginning to experience miscarriages, stillbirths, and genetic abnormalities
Wetland Effects of Chernobyl: Rivers and Streams
Sources of radiation
Direct deposition of nuclear fallout material on water surfaces
Transfer from catchment runoff
Original radioactivity in surface waters was high, but declined rapidly as radionuclides infiltrated into gradually deeper soils
Radioactive isotopes of Cesium and Strontium most common contributors to long-term contamination
Effects of wetland drainage soil characteristics
Peat bog soils (high in organics): low absorption of radiocesium, greater surface-water contamination
Mineral soils: up to ten times greater absorption of radiocesium and less surface-water contamination
Nuclear Effects
One bomb was 20-22 kilotons
There was little to no radiation
Due to the explosion, radiological research has improved drastically
Flora and Fauna returned within a year
Isahaya Bay was slightly effected by the explosion but later returned to normal existance but the greatest effect was from general human interference instead of radiation
Nagasaki, Japan
Located on the Southernmost Island of the Japanese Island chain.
On August 9th 1945, The allies dropped the second Atomic bomb used against a civilian population
In a matter of seconds between 40,000-75,000 people died as a result of the blast.

Logan Sleezer, Ryan Huth, Nick Vega
Wetland Effects of Chernobyl: Reservoirs, Lakes, and Marine Environments
Highest radionuclide concentrations for most lakes and reservoirs was achieved during and shortly after the accident except for a few that were still frozen over at the time of the explosion
Negative correlation between lake depth and removal rate of radionuclide contamination
Radionuclides had much longer residence times in closed lake systems
The environmental effects of the event on the Baltic and Black Seas, the nearest marine environments to the Chernobyl power plant, are considered negligible.
Bio-accumulation of radionuclides has been well documented in many different groups of wetland organisms.
Plants: Juncus rushes, Potamogeton, Elodea, etc.
Fishes: Silver carp, silver bream, channel catfish, etc.
Increased sterility and gonadal deformities in silver carp within the Chernobyl cooling pond
DNA abnormalities in the channel catfish
Biomagnification of radionuclides in large, predatory fish used for human consumption
Amphibians: increased incidence of abnormal calling in frogs
Insects: Asymmetrical wings in dragonflies
Molluscs: Suffered highest levels of radionuclide contamination
Wetland Effects of Chernobyl: Wetland Biota
Wetland Areas Affected
Nuclear power plant operated by the USSR that experienced a nuclear meltdown due to human error on April 26, 1986
Largest uncontrolled release of radioactive material on the environment from human civilization of any kind after nuclear chain reaction led to explosion of nuclear reactor 4
Killed 30 operators and firemen
Considered responsible for many other long-term health problems and later deaths in the region (Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia)
Pripyat River System
Part of the larger Dneiper River-Reservoir System
One of the largest surface water systems in Europe
Major source of drinking water
Vast wetland complexes including internationally recognized Ramsar wetland sites in Belarus
Most affected were in southeastern Belarus
Belarus contains 16 such Ramsar sites covering 600,000 hectares
Other Large River Systems across Europe
Polesky State Radioecological Reserve
Established in 1988; 1313 square kilometer reserve within the Chernobyl exclusion area in Belarus
Expanded to include an extra 849 square kilometers in 1993
Home to largest population of the European marsh turtle in the world
Also home to numerous wetland fish and bird species, including some that are rare and endangered
Scientists believe that ill effects on the area due to human habitation were worse for wildlife than the nuclear radiation effects.
Castle Bravo
Dry Fuel Hydrogen bomb
Detonated at Bikini Atoll
Most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the United States
Yield of 15 megatons with a project yield of 4-8 megatons
1/3 the energy of the Tsar Bomba, most powerful nuclear device ever detonated
Created a creater on the NW part of island
73 m deep
Most significant accidental radioactive contamination ever by the US
Radioactive fallout was widespread
Traces of radioactive material were found in Australia, India, Japan, and some parts of the United States and Europe
Radiation Effects in Wetlands
Overall species richness remains the approximately the same over a 50 year period
42 coral species may be locally extinct
New species have taken their place
Testing lead to long-term raised levels of radio-nucleotides
Testing altered natural sediment distribution, seawater was contaminated from fission particals, and low level of radioactive material was found in fish, calms, algae, and coral skeletons
Reef structures had cracks , part of reef rim collapsed due to the shock waves
Sources Bikini Atoll
Guardian News and Media. 2014. Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test: 60 Years Later and Islands Still Unliveable. Accessed: 05 May 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/02/bikini-atoll-nuclear-test-60-years.

International Atomic Energy Agency. 2016. Conditions at Bikini Atoll. Accessed: 05 May 2016. http://www.ns.iaea.org/appraisals/bikini-atoll.asp.

Marshall Islands Dose Assessment and Radioecology Program. 2015. Bikini Atoll. Accessed: 05 May 2016. https://marshallislands.llnl.gov/bikini.php.

Richards, Z.T., Beger, M., Pinca, S., and Wallace, C.C. 2008. Bikini Atoll Coral Biodiversity Resilience Five Decades after Nuclear Testing. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 56:503-515.

UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2016. Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site. Accessed: 05 May 2016. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1339.

All photos and figures accessed via Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org.
Radiation fallout from Castle Bravo
https://youtu.be/-l6Q8Q1smw g
Sources Chernobyl
Sources Nagasaki
(Information from International Atomic Energy Agency, 2016 and UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016)
(NASA, 2012)
(Federal Government of the United States, 2011)
(Information from International Atomic Energy Agency, 2016 and Marshall Islands Dose Assessment and Radioecology Program, 2015)
(United States Department of Energy, 1977)
(Information from Guardian News and Media, 2014 and UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 2016.)
(Information from Richards et al., 2008)
CIA Factbook, 1996. Chernobyl radiation map from CIA handbook. Accessed: 1 May 2016. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/belarus.html.

Movila, A., Deriabina, T., Morozov, A., Sitnicova, N., Toderas, I., Uspenskaia, I., and Alekhnovici, A. 2012. Abundance of Adult Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone. Journal of Parasitology. 98:883-884.

OMICS International, 2014. Polesie State Radioecological Reserve. Accessed: 1 May 2016. http://research.omicsgroup.org/index.php/Polesie_State_Radioecological_Reserve.

Ramsar Convention Secretariat, 2014. Belarus designates three new sites. Updated: 30 January 2014. Accessed: 1 May 2016. http://www.ramsar.org/news/belarus-designates-three-new-sites.

Smith, J. and Beresford, N.A. 2005. Chernobyl: Catastrophe and Consequences. Praxis Publishing, Chichester, UK, 310 p.

World Nuclear Association, 2016. Chernobyl Accident 1986. Updated: 28 April 2016. Accessed: 1 May 2016. http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/chernobyl-accident.aspx.

All photos and figures accessed via Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org.
(Information from World Nuclear Association, 2016)
(CIA Factbook, 1996)
(Information from Smith and Beresford, 2005 and Ramsar Convention Secretariat, 2014)
(Information from Smith and Beresford, 2005)
(Information from Smith and Beresford, 2005)
(Information from Smith and Beresford, 2005)
(Information from OMICS International, 2014)
(Movila et al., 2012)
Ahmed, K.S., Gotoh, K. and Kojima, H. 2003. Estimating the Willingness to pay for Restoring the Isahaya Bay Wetland: Evidence from Contingent Valuation Method. J. Environ. Syst. And Eng. 27:157-165.

Atomic Heritage Foundation. 2016. Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – 1945. Accessed: 30 April 2016. www.atomicheritage.org/history/bombings-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-1945.

INIS/IAEA. 2016. Revised dose estimates at Hiroshima and Nagasaki Accessed: 30 April 2016. www.inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:13661765.

Loewe, W.E. and Mendelsohn, E. 1981. Revised dose estimates at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Health Physics, 41: 663-666.

All photos and figures accessed via Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org.

(U.S. Government, 1945)
(U.S. Government, 1945)
(Dean Pemberton, 2008)
(Information from Atomic Heritage Foundation)
(Information from Ahmed, INIS and Loewe)
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