After the accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi which involved releases of radioactive substances to the surrounding environment, awareness of the risk that are related to the radioactive contamination of crops. The most important long-lasting radionuclides that are of concern is radiocaesium (134, 137Cs) and radiostrontium (85, 90Sr), they can be found in the environment over a significant long period and spread further to food stuffs via plant parts and animal fodder. The highest risk of transfer of radioactive substances to the different plant parts are during the growing season. It has been found that the rate of uptake and re-distribution of radionuclides will vary depending on the growth stage and the type of radionuclide. To be able to get a better understanding of this accumulation of radioactive substances, more studies should be made.

Supervision: Stefan Bengtsson – stefan.bengtsson@su.se, Maria Greger maria.greger@su.se  

Experimental approach: In the project two agricultural crops will be studied, wheat and oilseed rape, different varieties will be screened for their ability to take up radiocaesium and radiostrontium. The plants will be grown in climate chambers in growth media with addition of the radionuclides. The plants will then be screened with the help of scintillation techniques for identifying the concentration of radionuclides in the plant. If possible connect these differences in uptake to the plant physiological differences among the varieties.

Techniques involved: Training in this project will include among others: (a) working with radioactive substances, (b) growing plants in climate chamber, (c) radiochemistry, (d) scintillation techniques.