CHANGES IN 137 CS CONCENTRATIONS IN SOIL AND VEGETATION ON THE FLOODPLAIN OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER OVER A 30 YEAR PERIOD

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{sup 137}Cs released during 1954-1974 from nuclear production reactors on the Savannah River Site, a US Department of Energy nuclear materials production site in South Carolina, contaminated a portion of the Savannah River floodplain known as Creek Plantation. {sup 137}Cs activity concentrations have been measured in Creek Plantation since 1974 making it possible to calculate effective half-lives for {sup 137}Cs in soil and vegetation and assess the spatial distribution of contaminants on the floodplain. Activity concentrations in soil and vegetation were higher near the center of the floodplain than near the edges as a result of frequent inundation coupled with ... continued below

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Paller, M.; Jannik, T. & Fledderman, P. December 12, 2007.

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{sup 137}Cs released during 1954-1974 from nuclear production reactors on the Savannah River Site, a US Department of Energy nuclear materials production site in South Carolina, contaminated a portion of the Savannah River floodplain known as Creek Plantation. {sup 137}Cs activity concentrations have been measured in Creek Plantation since 1974 making it possible to calculate effective half-lives for {sup 137}Cs in soil and vegetation and assess the spatial distribution of contaminants on the floodplain. Activity concentrations in soil and vegetation were higher near the center of the floodplain than near the edges as a result of frequent inundation coupled with the presence of low areas that trapped contaminated sediments. {sup 137}Cs activity was highest near the soil surface, but depth related differences diminished with time as a likely result of downward diffusion or leaching. Activity concentrations in vegetation were significantly related to concentrations in soil. The plant to soil concentration ratio (dry weight) averaged 0.49 and exhibited a slight but significant tendency to decrease with time. The effective half-lives for {sup 137}Cs in shallow (0-7.6 cm) soil and in vegetation were 14.9 (95% CI = 12.5-17.3) years and 11.6 (95% CI = 9.1-14.1) years, respectively, and rates of {sup 137}Cs removal from shallow soil and vegetation did not differ significantly among sampling locations. Potential health risks on the Creek Plantation floodplain have declined more rapidly than expected on the basis of radioactive decay alone because of the relatively short effective half-life of {sup 137}Cs.

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  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2007-00235
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 972353
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc929258

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  • December 12, 2007

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 2:56 p.m.

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Paller, M.; Jannik, T. & Fledderman, P. CHANGES IN 137 CS CONCENTRATIONS IN SOIL AND VEGETATION ON THE FLOODPLAIN OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER OVER A 30 YEAR PERIOD, article, December 12, 2007; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc929258/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.