|SREL Reprint #0396|
Radiocesium Concentrations of Snakes from Contaminated
and Non-Contaminated Habitats of the AEC Savannah River Plant
Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Mark A. Staton,
Concentration levels of radiocesium were determined
for 117 snakes of 19 species collected on the AEC Savannah River Plant near
Aiken, South Carolina. Snakes
collected from the vicinity of a reactor effluent stream averaged 131.5 pCi
radiocesium/g live weight, with a maximum of 1032.6 pCi/g, and represented the
highest level of radiocesium concentration reported in the literature for any
naturally-occurring wild population of vertebrate predators.
These snakes had significantly higher concentrations of radiocesium than
those collected in the vicinity of a reactor cooling reservoir which averaged
27. PCi/g live weight, with a maximum of 139.3 pCi/g.
The radiocesium contents of snakes collected from uncontaminated habitats
average 2.6 and 2.4 pCi/g live weight, respectively, and did not differ
significantly from background radiation levels.
Radiocesium concentrations approximated a log-normal frequency
distribution, and no significant differences in frequency-distribution patterns
could be demonstrated between collection areas.
SREL Reprint #0396
Brisbin, I.L., Jr., M.A. Staton, J.E. Pinder III, and R.A. Geiger. 1974. Radiocesium concentrations of snakes from contaminated and non contaminated habitats of the AEC Savannah River Plant. Copeia 1974:501-506.