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THE BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ATOMIC RADIATION

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I' I. I THE EFFECTS OF ATOMIC RADIATION ON OCEANOGRAPHY AND FISHERIES Report of the Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation on Oceanography and Fisheries of the National Academy of Sciences Study of the Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation Publication No. 551 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES—NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL WASHINGTON, D. C. 1957

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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD No.: 57-60049

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COMMITTEE ON THE EFFECTS OF ATOMIC RADIATION ON OCEANOGRAPHY AND FISHERIES ROGER REVELLE, Chairman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. HOWARD BOROUGHS, JOHN H. HARLEY, Hawaii Marine Laboratory. U. S. Atomic Energy Commission. DAYTON E. CARRITT, BOSTWICK KETCHUM, The Johns Hopkins University. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. WALTER A. CHIPMAN, Louis A. KRUMHOLZ, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. University of Louisville. HARMON CRAIG, CHARLES E. RENN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Johns Hopkins University. LAUREN R. DONALDSON, MILNER B. SCHAEFER, University of Washington. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. RICHARD H. FLEMING, ALLYN C. VINE, University of Washington. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. RICHARD F. FOSTER, LIONEL A. WALFORD, General Electric Company. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. EDWARD D. GOLDBERG, WARREN S. WOOSTER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Consultants: THEODORE R. FOLSOM, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. THEODORE R. RICE, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. GEORGE A. ROUNSEFELL, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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FOREWORD The studies of the biological effects of atomic radiation, of which the report published in this volume is a part, were undertaken by the National Academy of Sciences in 1955. The first formal reports issuing from the study were published by the National Academy of Sciences—National Research Council in June 1956 as "The Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation—Summary Reports." These noted briefly the findings of six com- mittees established to review broadly the status of knowledge in this field of vital im- portance to the welfare of man at the threshold of the atomic age. They considered the problem from the points of view of genetics, pathology, agriculture and food supplies, oceanography and fisheries, meteorology, and the disposal and dispersal of radioactive wastes. The Academy study is a continuing one. Each of the Committees in a manner appro- priate to its area of concern is pursuing its work. The Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation on Oceanography and Fisheries held two meetings prior to the publication of its "Summary Report": the first on March 3-5, 1956 and the second on April 13-16, 1956. Rough drafts of most of the materials published in this volume were prepared at the second meeting. These reports, which give the detailed technical background of the committee's findings and recommendations, have been completed during the past year. Although the different chapters are signed by individual authors, all members of the committee participated in planning and out- lining the materials covered. Valuable editorial assistance was given by Dr. George A. Rounsefell and Mr. Charles I. Campbell. A similar report was prepared by the Committee on Pathologic Effects of Atomic Radiation and published in the Fall of 1956 by the NAS-NRC as Publication Number 452. The Committee on the Disposal and Dispersal of Radioactive Wastes has nearly completed a similar detailed report of its considerations. After the publication of its Summary Report in June 1956, the Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation on Oceanography and Fisheries met informally with scien- tists from the United Kingdom on September 27 and 28, 1956. The discussions centered around the recommendations that could be made on the basis of existing knowledge and the nature of the research needed in planning disposal of radioactive waste at sea. Members of this Committee have also participated in the preparation of a report by Unesco to the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, concerning the oceanic disposal of radioactive wastes. As the use of atomic energy becomes more and more a part of our daily life it is essential that thoughtful attention in broad perspective be paid to the often subtle and perhaps profound effects of this new technology on man and his environment. The Academy study will continue to provide this review and to report its findings to the public when appropriate. The facts upon which the study's conclusions are based result from more than two decades of research which has been sponsored by the Academy and other private or- ganizations as well as by various government agencies. The current study has been financed by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. It has been greatly assisted by the generous and whole-hearted co-operation of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission and other government agencies. DETLEV W. BRONK, President, National Academy of Sciences. vii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE FOREWORD vii CONTENTS ix GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING THE OCEAN AS A RECEPTACLE FOR ARTI- FICIALLY RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS. Roger Revelle and Milner B. Schaefer 1 Chapter 1. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF WASTES PRODUCED BY ATOMIC POWER INDUSTRY. Charles E. Renn 26 Chapter 2. COMPARISON OF SOME NATURAL RADIATIONS RECEIVED BY SELECTED ORGANISMS. Theodore R. Folsom and John H. Hurley 28 Chapter 3. DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES IN THE OCEAN: THE FISSION PRODUCT SPECTRUM IN THE SEA AS A FUNCTION OF TIME AND MIXING CHAR- ACTERISTICS. Harmon Craig 34 Chapter 4. TRANSPORT AND DISPERSAL OF RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS IN THE SEA. Warren S. Wooster and Bostwick Ketchum 43 Chapter 5. THE EFFECTS OF THE ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM ON THE TRANSPORT OF ELE- MENTS IN THE SEA. Bostwick H. Ketchum 52 Chapter 6. PRECIPITATION OF FISSION PRODUCT ELEMENTS ON THE OCEAN BOTTOM BY PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL, AND BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES. Dayton E. Carritt and John H. Harley 60 Chapter 7. ECOLOGICAL FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE UPTAKE, ACCUMULATION, AND Loss OF RADIONUCLIDES BY AQUATIC ORGANISMS. Louis A. Krumholz, Edward D. Goldberg and Howard A. Boroughs . . 69 . Chapter 8. LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS ON THE UPTAKE, ACCUMULATION, AND Loss OF RADIONUCLIDES BY MARINE ORGANISMS. Howard Boroughs, Walter A. Chipman and Theodore R. Rice .... 80 Chapter 9. ACCUMULATION AND RETENTION OF RADIOACTIVITY FROM FISSION PROD- UCTS AND OTHER RADIOMATERIALS BY FRESH-WATER ORGANISMS. Louis A. Krumholz and Richard F. Foster 88 ^ Chapter 10. EFFECTS OF RADIATION ON AQUATIC ORGANISMS. Lauren R. Donaldson and Richard F. Foster 96 Chapter 11. ISOTOPIC TRACER TECHNIQUES FOR MEASUREMENT OF PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROCESSES IN THE SEA AND THE ATMOSPHERE. Harmon Craig 103 Chapter 12. ON THE TAGGING OF WATER MASSES FOR THE STUDY OF PHYSICAL PROC- ESSES IN THE OCEANS. Theodore R. Folsom and Allyn C. Vine 121 Chapter 13. LARGE-SCALE BIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS USING RADIOACTIVE TRACERS. Milner B. Schaefer 133