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US Park Services
Rudolph bioindicator Marianne Birkby
SRS radioactive hunt deer
Savannah River Nuclear Site Deer Hunt and on site Cesium testing.
SRS cesium testing deer
(Images: USDA, USPS, SRS, drawing by Marianne Birkby)
Why settle for regular CO2 when you can have radioactive CO2 from nuclear power stations and waste? Carbon 14 is emitted by nuclear reactors on a routine basis. It appears to be emitted as radioactive CO2, but could also react with oxygen to form CO2. Carbon is the foundation of life itself, as is water. Tritium is radioactive hydrogen which becomes radioactive water. Carbon and water, the very foundations of life, become radioactive due to the nuclear industry. Cesium is a potassium mimic and potassium is required for nerve transmission. Plutonium can enter the cells along with iron. These are all gifts in the German sense of poison. And polonium has been called the perfect poison.

Whereas, Sellafield Nuclear site, in the UK, apparently paid someone to kill deer stuck in the Sellafield fence, the Savannah River Nuclear site in South Carolina has people pay to hunt (and presumably eat) radioactive deer. In so doing, they are actually cleaning up the nuclear site, as radiation leaves with the deer carcasses, and much is held in the bones and antlers. “Hunts will be conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting in November and lasting through December… If you are selected, the hunt fee is $130.00 per person.http://www.srs.gov/general/deer_hunt/hunt.htm The Savannah River Site tests deer for Cesium 137, only, before the hunters leave the site.

The UK “Deer Initiative” pointed to the utility of leaving the deer in the security fence to act as bio-indicators at the Sellafield nuclear site. Unlike the Savannah River site which tests deer for Cesium before release to the public (hunters) to eat, the apparently more serious-minded “Deer Initiative” points to the need for testing of the liver and bone of the deer near Sellafield.
Deer Initiative Enviro monitoring Sellafield
See the entire document here: https://mariannewildart.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/redacted_deer-report-sellafield.pdf

The Savannah River Nuclear Site has a 30 mrem (0.30 mSv) limit for deer to be taken home and eaten, compared to the US EPA’s annual exposure limit from nuclear facilities of 25 mrem (.25 mSv). http://www.srs.gov/general/deer_hunt/standershunt.htm (ALARA is supposed to be around 0.08 mSv. US NRC and DOE have the higher 100 mrem (1 mSv) dose limit for the general public on their books). Either they increased it again, or they didn’t update their site because “In 2012, SRS reduced its game animal administrative dose limit to 22 mrem/yr for the release of animals from the Site. The revised limit ensures the game animal pathway contributes no more than 25% to the all-pathway dose limit of 100 mrem/yr. The previous game animal limit was 30 mrem…” SRNS-STI-2013-00024, Savannah River Site, Environmental Report for 2012

Environmental Report for 2012 (SRNS-STI-2013-00024) 6-13
Radiological Dose Assessments
Onsite Hunter Dose
Deer and Hog Consumption Pathway — Annual hunts, open to the general public, are conducted at SRS to control the Site’s deer, feral hog, coyote, and turkey populations and to reduce animal-vehicle accidents. The estimated dose from the consumption of harvested deer, hog meat, or turkey is determined for every onsite hunter. During 2012, the maximum dose that could have been received by an actual onsite hunter was estimated at 14.5 mrem (0.145 mSv), or 14.5% of DOE’s 100 mrem/yr all-pathway dose standard (Table 6-5). This dose was determined for an actual hunter who in fact harvested 11 animals (ten deer and one hog) during the 2012 hunts. The hunter-dose calculation is based on the conservative assumption that this prolific hunter individually consumed the entire edible portion, almost 234 kilogram (kg) (517 pounds) of the animals that the hunter harvested from SRS in 2012.
” SRNS-STI-2013-00024, Savannah River Site, Environmental Report for 2012. http://www.srs.gov/general/pubs/ERsum/er12/12erpdfs/EnvRpt_9-16-2013_Final.pdf The deer hunting season at SRS is spread over a couple of months. How big a freezer does the hunter have? He may eat the deer over time, though probably with the help of his family.

1300 picocuries (pCi) per kg (2.2 lbs) is 481 Becquerels (radioactive disintegrations (shots) per second). Compare this to the 1200 Bq per kg of Cesium allowed in US food and the 100 Bq per kg of total radionuclides allowed in food in Japan. Almost 1/3rd the US max and over four times the Japanese max. NB: The pCi per g (gram) must be multiplied by 1000 to get kg.
SRNS-STI-2013-00024, Savannah River Site, Environmental Report for 2012 Cesium in Deer p. 1
SRNS-STI-2013-00024, Savannah River Site, Environmental Report for 2012, p. 2
At the former Rocky Flats plutonium site, the USFW did more in-depth testing of deer: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the final results of a deer tissue study conducted at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site to determine if the deer are safe for human consumption if hunting were allowed onsite…. Sixteen (16) of 85 tissue samples from the Rocky Flats deer had detectable levels of plutonium, americium, or uranium. Two of five tissue samples of the RMA deer had detectable levels Americium was detected in select lung, muscle, and kidney tissues of the Rocky Flats deer, and was also detected in kidney and liver tissues of the RMA deer. Plutonium was only detected in bone samples from the Rocky Flats deer. Uranium was detected in select liver and muscle tissues of the Rocky Flats deer, and was also detected in liver tissue of the RMA deer. All detections of radioactive elements in these tissues were at very low levels Historical studies of plutonium in deer tissues at Rocky Flats yielded similar results to those presented in this study A prior study, which included a wild deer from Cache La Poudre Canyon and a captive deer at Colorado State University, showed tissue activity levels similar to Rocky Flats and RMA deer.http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/pressrel/04-87.htm

Accumulation of Uranium ( 234 U and 238 U) and Plutonium ( 239+240 Pu) in Cervid Tissues and Organs “, by Bogdan Skwarzec*, Alicja Boryło, Małgorzata Prucnal, Dagmara I. Strumińska-Parulska http://www.pjoes.com/pdf/19.4/771-778.pdf See “Table 3. 238 Pu and 239+240 Pu concentration in tissues and organs of deer from northern Poland.“, p. 775. The concentration of plutonium is greatest in kidney, followed by liver, followed by muscle. The kidney is to cleanse the body of toxins. The liver plays this role, along with iron storage. Plutonium is an iron mimic. The red in red meat comes from iron. Thus, some plutonium is found in the muscle tissue too.

While no nuclear power station was ever built in Norway, Norway still monitors the cesium in its reindeer herds due to the Chernobyl nuclear accident far, far way, showing the injustice of nuclear power, and the legitimate concerns re trans-border impacts: “Wild reindeer still contain high levels of caesium-137 in some areas, and the last decade shows little decline. This is because caesium-137 is still present in the environment due to its long half-life, and the fact that the contamination is still being absorbed by the plants and mushrooms that the animals graze on.

Measurements of caesium-137 in reindeer meat reveal large variations between different areas. The radioactive deposition from the Chernobyl accident was unevenly distributed across the country, causing the large differences in caesium-137 levels between different reindeer populations. There can also be large annual variations within the same area, which are caused by local differences in mushroom abundance. Because mushrooms can absorb more radioactive caesium than green plants, reindeer may contain higher levels in years in which there is a lot of mushrooms available.” If you click on the graphs you can see the exact data by year: http://www.environment.no/goals/4.-pollution/goal-4.2/levels-of-selected-radioactive-substances-in-the-environment/slow-decline-of-caesium-137-in-wild-reindeer/ With a half-life of 30 years, most radioactive reindeer now fall around or under the US food “safety” intervention level of 1200 Bq/kg for Cesium. Most falls well under the 1200 Bq/kg, but it would not be acceptable food in Japan where the standard in food for all radionuclides is 100 Bq/kg. The British standard for imports is 600 Bq/kg and within the country 1000 Bq/kg. Presumably the UK follows EU rule which stipulates that food imported from Japan must be 100 Bq/kg to prevent dumping of radioactive food. A kg is 2.2 pounds. A Bq is a radioactive disintegration (shot) per second.

We ran a radiation in reindeer series two years ago: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/radioactive-reindeer/

Below are gruesome photos of the hunters and the deer they killed.
Radioactive Deer Hunt Gallery SRS

The IAEA discussing Carbon 14 (radioactive carbon) emitted as CO2 during fuel reprocessing: “The Rice scenario was based on 10 years of monitoring data collected around the Tokai reprocessing plant (TRP) in Tokai-mura, Japan. Carbon-14 is released continuously to the atmosphere in the form of 14 CO2 from three 90 m stacks on the TRP site. Monthly-averaged 14CO2 air samples were collected at three monitoring stations within 4 km of the site, and at two remote background stations. Rice grain samples were collected in late September (the normal harvest time for rice) at two sites within 2 km of the TRP and at a background site 12 km distant.” “Modelling the Environmental Transfer of Tritium and Carbon-14 to Biota and Man, Report of the Tritium and Carbon-14 Working Group of EMRAS Theme 1, Environmental Modelling for RAdiation Safety (EMRAS) Programmehttp://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/TE_1678_CD/Reports/Theme_1_WorkingGroup2(Tritium&C-14)/ModellingtheEnvironmentalTransferofTritiumandCarbon-14toBiotaandMan.pdf

C14 (radiocarbon) is emitted from nuclear power stations during routine operations, as well, apparently in the form of CO2: “In recent years, the analytical methods for determining C-14 have improved. Coincidentally the radioactive effluents from commercial nuclear power plants have also decreased to the point that C-14 has emerged as a principal radionuclide in gaseous effluents.

The only significant dose pathway to a member of the public from C-14 release is through consumption of vegetation. Vegetation incorporates C-14 in form of carbon dioxide (C02) during photosynthesis so doses are calculated based on the CO2 fraction of the carbon released in gaseous form. A CO2 fraction of 95% is used based on EPRI Technical Report 1021106, “Estimation of Carbon-14 in Nuclear Power Plant Gaseous Effluents”. The highest atmospheric dispersion factor for an actual garden based on the land use census was used to determine dose from C-14. Carbon-14 is dispersed as a gas (C02) to the garden location, where it is then incorporated into plant material.” “Attachment To GNRO-2013/00033, 2012 Annual Radioactive Effluent Release Reporthttp://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1312/ML13121A244.pdf

Warning re CO2 and tritium levels at the Low Level Waste site which recently blew up: “Tritium and radioactive carbon (14C) analyses of gas collected from unsaturated sediments next to a low-level radioactive-waste burial site south of Beatty, Nevada, April 1994 and July 1995“, USGS Publications Warehouse http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/pubs/index.jsp?view=adv
Prudic, David E.; Striegl, Robert G., 1995-01-01
Tritium activities in water vapor and radioactive carbon (14C) activities in carbon dioxide were determined in gas samples pumped from small-diameter air ports installed in a test hole within the unsaturated sediments next to a commercial burial site for low-level radioactive waste south of Beatty, Nevada. In April 1994, gas samples were collected from test hole UZB-2, which was drilled about 350 feet south of the southwest corner of the fence enclosing the burial site. The test hole is part of a study to determine the depth to which atmospheric air circulates through the unsaturated sediments at the desert site. Laboratory results completed in May 1995 show activities of tritium and 14C were greater than expected, with measured tritium in the water vapor as high as 762 tritium units at a depth of 79 feet and measured 14C in carbon dioxide as high as 1,700 percent modern carbon at a depth of 18 feet. In July 1995, the uppermost five air ports in test hole UZB-2 were resampled. In addition, water vapor was collected for tritium analyses at a distant test hole, and water vapor for tritium analyses and carbon dioxide for 14C analyses were collected from three depths at the research shaft about 200 feet north of test hole UZB-2, and at two shallow probes (depth of 5.5 feet) next to the fence enclosing the burial site. Analyses of samples collected in the upper 112 feet from test hole UZB-2 in July 1995 show the same distribution of tritium and 14C as analyses of samples collected in April 1994, except that activities were somewhat greater in July. The greatest activities of tritium and 14C were measured from a shallow probe next to the fence with activities of 29,400 tritium units and 517,000 percent modern carbon, respectively.

Drawing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Bioindicator by Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland. Read more about the Sellafield deer and much more here: https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com She also wisely pointed out that the radioactive carbon from nuclear power stations and waste means that nuclear is not “carbon free” during operations. It more obviously is not carbon free during mining and fuel processing.