A study on the levels of radioactivity in fish samples from the Experimental Lakes Area in Ontario, Canada

Abstract of the journal article published in Science Direct, March 2016.

Author(s): Jing Chen1, Michael D. Rennie2, Baki Sadi1, Weihua Zhang1, Nadereh St-Amant3

1 Health Canada
2 International Institute for Sustainable Development
3 Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


To better understand the radiation levels in fish from the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in Ontario, a total of 126 fish samples were collected from 3 lakes in the ELA and analyzed for naturally occurring and anthropogenic radionuclides. The concentration of the anthropogenic radionuclide Cs-137 in fish from the lakes was found to be more than 20 times higher than those observed in marine fish harvested from the Canadian West coast. In terms of the naturally occurring radionuclide Po-210, the resulting radiation dose from consumption of 1 kg of fish was calculated to be a small fraction (<1000) of the annual dose from exposure to various types of natural background radiation (2.4 mSv per year). It was also confirmed that concentrations of Cs-137 in fish samples from these inland lakes are still considered very low from a radiological protection perspective.

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