Assessing the Natural and Anthropogenic Radionuclide Activities in Fish from Arctic Rivers (Northwestern Russia)

Document Type : Original Research Paper


N. Laverov Federal Centre for Integrated Arctic Research of Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, (FECIAR UrB RAS) 109 Severnoj Dviny Emb., Arkhangelsk 163000, Russia


This scientific article presents the results of studies on the distribution of natural and artificial radionuclides in fish living in the rivers of the northwestern sector of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. Fish sampling (about 76 kg in total) was carried out in the White Sea, in the Northern Dvina and Mezen Rivers, and in the Sukhoe Sea Bay of the Arkhangelsk Region, as well as in the rivers of the Nenets Autonomous District: Pesha, Oma, Vizhas, Nes, and Pechora. The results showed the presence of artificial radionuclides Cs-137 and Sr-90 in fish only in the Nes River of the Nenets Autonomous District. The levels of radionuclides in whole bodies perch and pike in the Nes River range from 3.73 to 14.0 Bq/kg wet weight for Cs-137 and less than 3.72 to 23.1 Bq/kg wet weight for Sr-90. In addition to Cs-137 and Sr-90, the presence of the radionuclide K-40, which is the main dose-forming radionuclide, was noted in the fish of all the studied rivers and seas. K-40 activity was in the reached values 138 Bq/kg for whole fish bodies. The only assumption that can explain the presence of artificial radionuclides in the fish of the Nes River is a possible radioactive trace formed as a result of global nuclear tests, including in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. At the same time, it is noted that the current levels of technogenic radioactivity in fish from the Nes River do not pose a radiological hazard to the local population.


Main Subjects

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