Dose-effects relationships in non-human biota : development of field sampling, dosimetric and analytic techniques through a case study of the aquatic snail Campeloma decisum at Chalk River Laboratories Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kd17cx904

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  • In the last decade regulatory bodies have begun to implement standards to protect populations of non-human biota (NHB) from the consequences of radiation exposure. This is a departure from previous regulatory frameworks which were concerned only with protecting man. The implementation of these new standards has started an ongoing discussion concerning appropriate dose-rate limits for NHB. For the most part, the data utilized for estimating appropriately protective dose-rate limits has come from data collected via the irradiation of NHB in a laboratory setting. While some dose-effects studies have been performed under field conditions, such experiments represent a minority of the available data. This deficit in the literature has resulted in challenges to the established paradigm, with researchers reporting increased radiosensitivity in NHB under field conditions. However, many such studies overlook critical components of dose-effects analysis: lacking either robust ecological technique or dosimetric rigor. This study serves as a template for future in-depth study of the relationship between radiation dose and ecological health. It utilizes sound field, dosimetric, analytic and statistical techniques to study dose-effects relationships in the aquatic snail, Campeloma decisum, at Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, Canada. Multiple benchmarks (number of snails, mass of individuals, etc) were employed as proxies for snail population health, which was assessed after accounting for two dozen environmental variables. Dose-rates were calculated via a novel voxelized model, developed for this study to estimate internal dose rates for the species of interest. A linear model was employed to tease out the relationship between individual snails, their environment, and radiation dose rate. There was no evidence that snail population health was influenced by radiation exposure (p=0.70) at the observed dose rates. Of the environmental variables tested, water concentration of Ca was well correlated with snail mass size (p<0.001), while water concentration of P was well correlated with the number of snails lured to a trap (p<0.001). The protocols and procedures developed as a part of this study represent novel, robust techniques for evaluating the relationship between radiation dose and population effects in NHB.
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  • 2014

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