, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 29-45

The dynamic transfer of 3H and 14C in mammals: a proposed generic model

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Abstract

Associated with the present debate regarding the potential revival of nuclear energy there is an increased interest in assessing the radiological risk to the public and also the environment. Tritium and 14C are key radionuclides of interest in many circumstances (e.g. heavy water reactors, waste storage and fusion reactors). Because the stable analogues of these two radionuclides are integral to most biological compounds, their modelling should follow general principles from life sciences. In this paper, a model of the dynamics of 14C and 3H in mammals is proposed on the basis of metabolic understanding and of, as far as possible, readily available data (e.g. for organ composition and metabolism). The model is described together with validation tests (without calibration) for a range of farm animals. Despite simplifications, the model tests are encouraging for a range of animal types and products (tissues and milk), and further improvements are suggested.