UPWARD MOVEMENT OF PLUTONIUM TO SURFACE SEDIMENTS DURING AN 11-YEAR FIELD STUDY

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An 11-y lysimeter study was established to monitor the movement of Pu through vadose zone sediments. Sediment Pu concentrations as a function of depth indicated that some Pu moved upward from the buried source material. Subsequent numerical modeling suggested that the upward movement was largely the result of invading grasses taking up the Pu and translocating it upward. The objective of this study was to determine if the Pu of surface sediments originated from atmosphere fallout or from the buried lysimeter source material (weapons-grade Pu), providing additional evidence that plants were involved in the upward migration of Pu. The {sup ... continued below

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Kaplan, D.; Beals, D.; Cadieux, J. & Halverson, J. January 25, 2010.

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An 11-y lysimeter study was established to monitor the movement of Pu through vadose zone sediments. Sediment Pu concentrations as a function of depth indicated that some Pu moved upward from the buried source material. Subsequent numerical modeling suggested that the upward movement was largely the result of invading grasses taking up the Pu and translocating it upward. The objective of this study was to determine if the Pu of surface sediments originated from atmosphere fallout or from the buried lysimeter source material (weapons-grade Pu), providing additional evidence that plants were involved in the upward migration of Pu. The {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu and {sup 242}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atomic fraction ratios of the lysimeter surface sediments, as determined by Thermal Ionization Mass Spectroscopy (TIMS), were 0.063 and 0.00045, respectively; consistent with the signatures of the weapons-grade Pu. Our numerical simulations indicate that because plants create a large water flux, small concentrations over multiple years may result in a measurable accumulation of Pu on the ground surface. These results may have implications on the conceptual model for calculating risk associated with long-term stewardship and monitored natural attenuation management of Pu contaminated subsurface and surface sediments.

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  • Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2010-00029
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.01.007 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 972358
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc931310

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  • January 25, 2010

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 1:44 p.m.

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Kaplan, D.; Beals, D.; Cadieux, J. & Halverson, J. UPWARD MOVEMENT OF PLUTONIUM TO SURFACE SEDIMENTS DURING AN 11-YEAR FIELD STUDY, article, January 25, 2010; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc931310/: accessed August 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.