Geochronology of anthropogenic radionuclides in Ribeira Bay sediments, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Franciane de Carvalho Gomes, José Marcus Godoy, Maria Luiza D.P. Godoy, Zenildo Lara de Carvalho, Ricardo Tadeu Lopes, Joan Albert Sanchez-Cabeza, Iolanda Osvath, Luiz Drude de Lacerda

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Ribeira Bay is located approximately 130 km south of the city of Rio de Janeiro and receives discharges of liquid effluent from the Angra dos Reis nuclear power plant (NPP) site, where two pressurized water reactors are located. To test whether the presence of anthropogenic radionuclides in sediments in Ribeira Bay could be correlated to the NPP operations, we sampled seven sediment cores and determined accumulation rates and chronologies. Only one sediment core did not exhibit a superficial mixing layer; this sample was used for dating purposes. Cesium-137 and 207Bi were observed in this sediment profile, but their presence was associated with atmospheric fall-out rather than the nearby NPP. The exponential decay of 210Pb concentration with sediment layer depth was verified below a superficial mixing layer for all other sediment cores. Calculated accumulation rates ranged from 1.2 mm y-1 in the inner bay to 6.2 mm y-1 close to its entrance. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-876
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Brazil
  • Pb-210 dating
  • Ribeira bay
  • Sediments


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