Experimental system to displace radioisotopes from upper to deeper soil layers

9Citations
Citations of this article
15Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.

Abstract

Background: Radioisotopes are introduced into the environment following nuclear power plant accidents or nuclear weapons tests. The immobility of these radioactive elements in uppermost soil layers represents a problem for human health, since they can easily be incorporated in the food chain. Preventing their assimilation by plants may be a first step towards the total recovery of contaminated areas. Methods: The possibility of displacing radionuclides from the most superficial soil layers and their subsequent stabilisation at lower levels were investigated in laboratory trials. An experimental system reproducing the environmental conditions of contaminated areas was designed in plastic columns. A radiopolluted soil sample was treated with solutions containing ions normally used in -(fertilisation (NO3-, NH4+, PO4--- and K+. Results: Contaminated soils treated with an acid solution of ions NO 3-, PO4--- and K+, undergo a reduction of radioactivity up to 35%, after a series of washes which simulate one year's rainfall. The capacity of the deepest soil layers to immobilize the radionuclides percolated from the superficial layers was also confirmed. Conclusion: The migration of radionuclides towards deeper soil layers, following chemical treatments, and their subsequent stabilization reduces bioavailability in the uppermost soil horizon, preventing at the same time their transfer into the water-bearing stratum.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Cazzola, P., Cena, A., Ghignone, S., Abete, M. C., & Andruetto, S. (2004). Experimental system to displace radioisotopes from upper to deeper soil layers. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 3, 1–29. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-3-1

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free