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Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Vol. 145, 2015, Pages: 102–112

Distribution of radionuclides in a marine sediment core off the waterspout of the nuclear power plants in Daya Bay, northeastern South China Sea

Peng Zhou, Dongmei Li, Haitao Li, Hongda Fang, Chuguang Huang, Yusheng Zhang, Hongbiao Zhang, Li Zhao, Junjie Zhou, Hua Wang, Jie Yang

South China Sea Environment Monitoring Center, State Oceanic Administration (SOA), Guangzhou 510300, PR China.


A sediment core was collected and dated using 210Pbex dating method off the waterspout of nuclear power base of Daya Bay, northeastern South China Sea. The γ-emitting radionuclides were analyzed using HPGe γ spectrometry, gross alpha and beta radioactivity as well as other geochemical indicators were deliberated to assess the impact of nuclear power plants (NPP) operation and to study the past environment changes. It suggested that NPP provided no new radioactivity source to sediment based on the low specific activity of 137Cs. Two broad peaks of TOC, TC and LOI accorded well with the commercial operations of Daya Bay NPP (1994.2 and 1994.5) and LNPP Phase I (2002.5 and 2003.3), implying that the mass input of cooling water from NPP may result into a substantial change in the ecological environment and Daya Bay has been severely impacted by human activities.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: ?-emitting radionuclides; Gross alpha and beta radioactivity; Marine sediment core; Nuclear power plant; Daya Bay.

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