Research and analysis

Sulphur-35: modelling plant uptake

This report (HPA-RPD-013) describes the Health Protection Agency SGAS foodchain model.

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Sulphur-35 is discharged as a gas from UK Magnox and advanced gas-cooled nuclear reactors in two important forms. Carbonyl sulphide is released routinely during reactor operation while hydrogen sulphide is released primarily from Magnox reactors when maintenance is carried out. The uptake of gaseous forms of sulphur-35 by plant leaves is known to be an important mechanism leading to the contamination of crops.

It was thought that this route of exposure might not be adequately modelled in the Health Protection Agency foodchain model FARMLAND and therefore a new model SGAS was developed.