Radionuclides and trace elements in environmental systems
Artificial radionuclides appear in the environment as a result of anthropogenic activities, while natural radionuclides, as well as heavy metals or trace elements, appear as constituents of all natural systems. At the same time, natural migration processes and redistribution of elements in ecosystems are under strong influence of various anthropogenic factors. Consequences of global atmospheric pollution with radionuclides (nuclear tests, Chernobyl accident) and the potential hazards due to their applications in everday life (medicine, energetics, depleted uranium) are emphasized by the fact that some of the artificial radionuclides are the most toxic substances ever made.
These researches will determine distribution of particular radionuclides and trace elements in selected parts of natural systems, mechanisms of their migration and redistribution, as well as their accumulation areas. Also, special emphasis will be set on detection, separation and analysis of bioindicator species or media suitable for the monitoring of the present raioactivity state of the environment in Croatia. Further goal is the development and improvement of methods and procedures for alpha, beta and gamma radioactivity measurements as well as for solid and liquid waste treatment. The purpose of the proposed research is the contribution to the knowledge of biogeochemical behavior and distribution of natural and artificial radionuclides and trace elements in various parts of natural systems (fresh and sea water, recent and ancient sedimentation areas, soils and rocks, organisms and biological substances).
Expected results should contribute to determination of sustainable development strategies, preservation of existing natural resources, radioactive waste management and should help to control and limit anthropogenic intake of radionuclides and other hazardous elements into the environment. Results will provide better estimation of risk level in case of radioactive pollution from different possible sources in order to take protection measures for endangered resources.