Ecosystem uptake and transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) Part 2: The West of Scotland

Tierney, K. M. , Muir, G. K.P. , Cook, G. T. , MacKinnon, G. , Howe, J. A., Heymans, J. J., Hughes, D. J. and Xu, S. (2017) Ecosystem uptake and transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) Part 2: The West of Scotland. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 115(1-2), pp. 57-66. (doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.11.014) (PMID:27899176)

131507.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Ecosystem uptake and transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) were examined within the West of Scotland marine environment. The dissolved inorganic carbon component of seawater, enriched in 14C, is transported to the West of Scotland where it is transferred through the marine food web. Benthic and pelagic biota with variable life-spans living in the North Channel and Clyde Sea show comparable 14C activities. This suggests that mixing of 14C within the Irish Sea results in a relatively constant northwards dispersal of activity. Benthic species in the Firth of Lorn have similar 14C enrichments, demonstrating that Irish Sea residual water is the dominant source to this area. Measured 14C activities in biota show some similarity to western Irish Sea activities, indicating that dispersion to the West of Scotland is significant with respect to the fate of Sellafield 14C releases. Activities measured in commercially important species do not pose any significant radiological risk.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was completed as part of the LO-RISE (Long-lived Radionuclides in Surface Environments; NE/L000202/1) consortium under the NERC RATE programme (Radioactivity and the Environment), cofunded by the Environment Agency and Radioactive Waste Management Ltd.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Xu, Dr Sheng and Muir, Dr Graham and Tierney, Dr Kieran and MacKinnon, Dr Gillian and Cook, Professor Gordon
Authors: Tierney, K. M., Muir, G. K.P., Cook, G. T., MacKinnon, G., Howe, J. A., Heymans, J. J., Hughes, D. J., and Xu, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Marine Pollution Bulletin
ISSN (Online):1879-3363
Published Online:26 November 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Marine Pollution Bulletin 115(1-2):57-66
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record