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Report No.

Environmental behavior of plutonium isotopes studied in the area affected by the Chernobyl accident

Matsunaga, Takeshi; Nagao, Seiya*

The environmental behavior of Chernobyl-derived plutonium has been reviewed in the soil and the aquatic environment in Ukrainian affected areas. Dissolution of released fuel particles was an initiation for migration in the environment for the Chernobyl-derived plutonium. Once dissolved, the plutonium distributed persistently over surface soil layer with a limited infiltration ability. This relative immobility of plutonium in the soil environment can be attributed to its affinity for soil organics, based on chemical partitioning investigations. The relative immobility of plutonium was also seen in its fluvial transport along the Dnieper River. Dissolved organic matter, most probably humic substances, helped stabilize dissolved plutonium in the lake waters.



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