Authors:A. Sanchez, D. Singleton, B. Walters, and J. Cobb
The British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) complex (Sellafield) in Cumbria discharges into the atmosphere, under authorization by the Environment Agency (and previously, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), radioactive waste consisting of gases, mists and dusts. As part of MAFF's radiological surveillance programme, the intake of radionuclides via food ingestion by members of the public living near this nuclear installation is routinely assessed from measurements made on local food and environmental samples and by using computer models simulating the dispersion and incorporation of radioactivity into foodstuffs. In this study, the individual diets of adults and children living near the Sellafield complex and those from a control group were assessed for their radionuclide content. The participants were selected via a food survey questionnaire which was aimed at identifying those who consume home grown fruits and vegetables or derive these from local sources. The diets were collected over a one-week period in August 1995 and following radiochemical analyses of the diets for239+240Pu,137Cs,90Sr,14C, and129I, the doses received by the participants from these nuclides were extrapolated over a one-year period and compared to doses calculated from food surveillance data and to doses predicted using the MAFF food-chain computer model.