Environmental Radioactivity

Quintessa staff are specialists in understanding the behaviour of radionuclides in environmental systems. Our capabilities extend from understanding experimental data to modelling radionuclide movement through the environment, and evaluating potential impacts to humans and wildlife.

The capability to sufficiently characterise, understand and appropriately represent the behaviour of radionuclides in environmental systems is critical to understanding the risks posed. This, in turn, is essential information in supporting decision making across a wide range of situations.  Quintessa’s extensive experience encompasses radionuclide behaviour on long and short timescales within both evolving and steady state systems. Examples include:

  • modelling radionuclide behaviour in agricultural systems as a result of routine and accidental atmospheric releases for the UK Food Standards Agency;
  • reviewing the requirements for an environmental monitoring programme for the Dounreay site along with an understanding of the local terrestrial, foreshore and marine environments to justify a new monitoring strategy;
  • using measured radioactive contamination from over 200 boreholes at Dounreay to interpret a detailed picture of contamination in rock, which in turn substantiates a separately-developed model of groundwater flow; and
  • assessing radionuclide mobility and behaviour within terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine, coastal and marine systems in support of safety and performance assessments for near-surface and deep geological radioactive waste disposal projects around the world.