Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021. Vol. 66. № 6. P. 10–17

Methodological Approaches to Measurement of Carbon-14 for Control of its Radiation
Impact on the Personnel and the Public

V.N. Klochkov, L.I. Kuznetsova, N.A. Eremina, D.I. Kabanov, A.A. Maximov,
S.V. Berezin, A.A. Androsova, E.V. Klochkova, P.P. Surin, V.K. Velichko

A.I. Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center, Moscow, Russia

Contact person: Klochkov Vladimir Nikolaevich: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Purpose: Analysis of the current regulatory and methodological framework on control of doses from intake of 14С for the personnel and the public living in the control area of the nuclear power plant (NPP). Identifying the most informative methods of controlling radiation impact of 14С on a human being.

Material and methods: Research literature on radiation impact of naturally occurring 14С; 14С entering the environment as a result of nuclear weapon tests; and 14С entering workplaces and the control area of NPP has been reviewed. Dose coefficients and other radiation characteristics of 14С provided in IAEA, ICRP and UNSCEAR publications have been summarized.

Results: According to UNSCEAR, annual radiation burden caused by global 14С is the highest one (about 80 %) among radiation burdens associated with four critical naturally occurring cosmogenic radionuclides: 3Н (0.01 µSv/year), 7Be (3.0 µSv/year), 14С (12 µSv/year) and 24Na (0.2µSv/year). The main way of 14С intake is the alimentary one when this isotope enters the human body with food. Dose from this kind of intake of global 14С can reach 40 µSv. The annual dose caused by aerogenic (inhalation) way of intake of global 14С does not exceed 1 µSv.

The most informative methods of dose assessment for the personnel of NPP and the public living in the control area involve measurement of content of 14С in top soil, vegetation and food products. 

Conclusions: Significant amount of 14С enters the environment within the control area during operation of NPP, which causes the public radiation dose exceeding the dose from global 14С. The most informative objects characterizing content of technogenic 14С in the control area of NPP are top soil (humus) and vegetation. The liquid scintillation spectrometry involves sample preparation by burning of samples in oxygen with capturing of generated carbon dioxide and its transfer into organic solvent. This is the most technologically viable method for mass control of 14С content in samples of top soil and vegetation.

Key words: radiation safety, carbon-14, control of specific activity, internal dose, soil, vegetation

For citation: Klochkov VN, Kuznetsova LI, Eremina NA, Kabanov DI, Maximov AA, Berezin SV, Androsova AA, Klochkova EV, Surin PP, Velichko VK. Methodological Approaches to Measurement of Carbon-14 for Control of its Radiation Impact on the Personnel and the Public. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021;66(6):10-17.

DOI: 10.12737/1024-6177-2021-66-6-10-17


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Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Financing. The study had no sponsorship.

Contribution. Article was prepared with equal participation of the authors.

Article received: 16.09.2021. 

Accepted for publication: 22.10.2021.