The response of Ascophyllum nodosum to a sudden increase in radioactivity analogous to a nuclear incident is examined in the field. super(137)Cs, super(241)Am and super(239+240)Pu showed net accumulation with exposure time, unlike natural super(228)Th, which was used as a control. Caesium had the highest accumulation rate followed by americium and finally plutonium. Younger plant sections were found to accumulate all the radionuclides significantly faster than older plant sections. Americium and plutonium were accumulated significantly faster in frond tissue than in vesicle tissue. No significant difference could be identified for caesium. These results and their implications for future monitoring surveys and modes of uptake are discussed.