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Characterisation Method Information
Characterisation Method Name:
Ionising radiation air emissions impact on DALYs
Version:
2000
Date Completed:
2000
Principal Method Name:
ECO-indicator: radioactive material fate analysis and effect analysis
Method Description:
DALY (Disability Adjusted Life Years)


Description of the problem

This paragraph describes the damage to Human Health related to the routine releases of radioactive material to the environment. It is a summary of a paper that has been written by Frischknecht, Suter, Hofstetter and Braunschweig [FRISCHKNECHT ET AL 1999] Some parts of this paragraph have been quoted directly.

The model starts with the release at the point of emission, expressed as Becquerel (Bq). One Becquerel is equivalent with one decay per second.

Fate analysis

The fate model has been based on [DREICER ET AL 1995], who described the routine 14 atmospheric and liquid discharges in the French nuclear fuel cycle.

The uncertainty in the fate analysis is approximately a factor 2 to 4. For the global assessment the uncertainty is probably greater than an order of magnitude, except for Carbon-14. As we will see the
latter uncertainty is disturbingly high, as the global effects turn out to be very significant.


Exposure analysis

In the exposure analysis we calculate what dose human actually absorb, given the radiation levels that are calculated in the fate analysis. The measure for the effective dose is the Sievert (Sv), based on human body equivalence factors for the different ionising radiation types .

1 Sv = 1 J/kg body weight.

Data expressed in Sievert contain physical data on energy doses and biological data on the sensitivities of different body tissues. An intermediate stage in the calculations of doses is often expressed as Gray (Gy). This is the measure of absorbed dose without considering the different reaction types of body tissues. In order to link the emissions (Bq) to immissions (Sv), we need to draw up the exposure routes.

The global exposure of Tritium, Carbon-14, Krypton-85, and Iodine-129 have been calculated for a time horizon of 100.000 and 100 years.

Effect and damage analysis

In the damage analysis we concentrate on carcinogenic and hereditary effects, as these appear to be the most significant [DOBRIS 1996].
Two issues are important:
• Establishing the number of cases that occur as a result of the calculated exposure.
• Establishing the number of DALYs per case.
An important discussion is whether and how epidemiological findings at medium and high exposure may be extrapolated to low doses. Linear, supralinear, sublinear, threshold models and even beneficial effects of low radiation levels thanks to a hormetic effect have been suggested.

Most international advisory boards assume a linear no threshold (LNT) behaviour for low doses of ionising radiation. The slope including high dose-rates can be best described as S-shaped and the section where no acute effects are observed is supposed to follow a linear-quadratic function.
Most of the epidemiological information is available from the quadratic intersection.

[FRISCHKNECHT ET AL 1999] list the DALYs for the same types of cancers we have used in previous calculations. In total they found 0.5 fatal and 0.12 non-fatal cases per Man.Sv.
[FRISCHKNECHT ET AL 1999] also assume that the radiation induced cancer cases occur at the same age pattern as for other cancer causes. Frischknecht et al also present the cases with and without age weighting. The method of calculation of the number of DALY per cancer case is identical to the one
used for carcinogenic effects.
The number of severe hereditary effects is assumed to be 0.01 case per Man.Sv [ICRP 1999] This number is very uncertain as it was derived from animal tests.
For hereditary effects it is much less clear how one case should be expressed in DALYs. Frischknecht et al quote [DREICER 1995], who assumes severe hereditary effects either result in immediate death or severely impaired life. [MURRAY ET AL 1996] suggest disability weights of about 0.2 to 0.6 for serious disabilities, including genetic defects. Frischknecht et al assume that 50% of the cases result in immediate death, while the rest lives with a disability weighted as an average of 0.4. This results in 57 DALY per case with age weighting and 61 DALYs per case without age weighting.


Literature Reference:
1. [Frischknecht et al 1999] Frischknecht R., Braunschweig A., Hofstetter P., Suter P. (1999), Modelling human health effects of radioactive releases in Life Cycle Impact Assessment, Draft from 20 February 1999, accepted for publication in Environmental impact Assessment Review. 2. [Dreicer et al. 1995] Dreicer M., V. Tort, P. Manen, 1995. ExternE, Externalities of Energy, Vol. 5. Nuclear, Centre d'étude sur l'Evaluation de la Protection dans le domaine Nucléaire (CEPN), edited by the European Commission DGXII, Science, Research and Develop-ment JOULE, Luxembourg 3.[Dobris 1996] Stanners, D; Bourdeau, Ph; Europe's environment, The Dobris Assessment, European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen, 1996. 4. [ICRP 1990] International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1990, Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, Publication 60, Annals of the ICRP, 21 (1-3)
Methodological Range:
Geographical range is Europe Data are based on hierarchist perspective
Notes:

Existing Characterisation Factors of Ionising radiation air emissions impact on DALYs
Characterisation Parameter Category Indicator Impact Indication Principle Aspect Substance Quantity Unit Notes
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
C-14 1.36E-08 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Co-58 2.79E-11 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Co-60 1.04E-09 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Cs-134 7.79E-10 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Cs-137 8.44E-10 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
H-3 9.09E-13 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
I-129 6.10E-08 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
I-131 1.04E-11 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
I-133 6.1E-13 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Kr-85 9.09E-15 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Pb-210 9.74E-11 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Po-210 9.74E-11 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Pu alpha 5.39E-09 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Pu-238 4.35E-09 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Ra-226 5.91E-11 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Rn-222 1.56E-12 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Th-230 2.92E-09 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
U-234 6.30E-09 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
U-235 1.36E-09 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
U-238 5.32E-10 DALY/Bq
CFactor DALYs ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Xe-133 9.09E-15 DALY/Bq