Introduction

In recent years, there have been great concerns about the fate of radioactivity released from the detonations of nuclear weapons tests and the impacts on health and ecology caused by the global dispersion of radioactivity. The transport of radioactive dust and its deposition can have significant impacts of radioactivity levels in the ecological environment. Many processes govern the movement of radionuclides through multiple media, including air, water, land, and biota, to human, known as biogeochemical cycles. One way to assess and predict the movement of radionulcides is to understand the processes in each medium. We focus on the processes used in modeling transport and the movement of radionuclides related to the bio-geochemical cycles for assessing and predicting the radioactivity level in the atmosphere and in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This article begins to present the primary sources for releasing the radionuclides. The first section is an overview of historical background of the nuclear weapons tests as a source of emitting non-natural radionuclides and the collection of global fallout of radio-nuclides resulting from the test. The subsequent sections focus on the transport processes and the global pathways (i.e., atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic) of radionuclides as collected and measured from the series of nuclear weapons tests. We then discuss the biogeochemical cycles of long-lived radionuclides. Finally, the radioecological effects from a nuclear power accident at the Chernobyl site in Ukraine are also presented.

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