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The relationship between concentrations of plutonium and americium in soil interstitial waters and their uptake by plants

Livens, F.R.; Horrill, A.D.; Singleton, D.L.. 1994 The relationship between concentrations of plutonium and americium in soil interstitial waters and their uptake by plants. Science of the Total Environment, 155 (2). 151-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/0048-9697(94)90288-7

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Abstract/Summary

Large soil cores (23.5 cm diameter), containing elevated concentrations of plutonium and americium derived from fuel reprocessing effluents (typically 2000–3000 but up to 10000 Bq kg−1 239,240Pu and 3000–5000 but up to 15 000 Bq kg−1 241Am), were collected from three zones of a salt marsh in west Cumbria. The standing vegetation was removed, the cores placed in a greenhouse and the vegetation allowed to regrow. After 2 months, the regrowth was harvested and the amount of plutonium and americium taken up determined. These data, combined with data from earlier, in-situ sampling of soil pore waters and from analysis of soil cores, allow estimation of soil-plant transfers. If these are expressed simply as the ratio of the activity concentrations in the plant tissues to those in the soil, the values lie in the range 10−5−10−6, comparable to those found by many other workers. However, the ratio of concentrations in plant tissues to those in the soil solution is much higher; 40–110 l kg−1 for 239,240Pu and 210–640 l kg−1 for 241Am. There appears to be a consistent relationship between soil-plant transfer and the in-situ solid-solution distribution coefficient (Rd).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/0048-9697(94)90288-7
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: radioecology, plutonium, americium, soil solution, plant uptake
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 05 Mar 2013 14:12 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/21285

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