ICRP Publication 136

Dose Coefficients for Non-human Biota Environmentally Exposed to Radiation

Recommended citation
ICRP, 2017. Dose coefficients for nonhuman biota environmentally exposed to radiation. ICRP Publication 136. Ann. ICRP 46(2).

Authors on behalf of ICRP
A. Ulanovsky, D. Copplestone, J. Vives i Batlle

Abstract - The diversity of non-human biota is a specific challenge when developing and applying dosimetric models for assessing exposures of flora and fauna from radioactive sources in the environment. Dosimetric models, adopted in Publication 108, provide dose coefficients (DCs) for a group of reference entities [Reference Animals and Plants (RAPs)]. The DCs can be used to evaluate doses and dose rates, and to compare the latter with derived consideration reference levels (DCRLs), which are bands of dose rate where some sort of detrimental effect in a particular RAP may be expected to occur following chronic, long-term radiation exposure, as outlined in Publication 124. These dosimetric models pragmatically assume simple body shapes with uniform composition and density, homogeneous internal contamination, limited sets of idealised sources of external exposure to ionising radiation for aquatic and terrestrial animals and plants, and truncated radioactive decay chains. This pragmatic methodology is further developed and systematically extended in this publication, which supersedes the DC values of Publication 108. Significant methodological changes since Publication 108 include: implementation of a new approach for external exposure of terrestrial animals with an extended set of environmental radioactive sources in soil and in air; considering an extended range of organisms and locations in contaminated terrain; transition to the contemporary radionuclide database of Publication 107; assessment-specific consideration of the contribution of radioactive progeny to DCs of parent radionuclides; and use of generalised allometric relationships in the estimation of biokinetic or metabolic parameter values. These methodological developments result in changes to previously published tables of DCs for RAPs, and revised values are provided in this publication. This publication is complemented by a new software tool, called 'BiotaDC', which enables the calculation of DCs for internal and external exposures of organisms with user-defined masses, shapes, and locations in the environment and for all radionuclides in Publication 107.