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Influence of Physicochemical Characteristics of Freshwater on Artificial Radioactivity Content

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Abstract:

An intensive study was designed to determine the activity of different radionuclides in water, including strontium-90 (90Sr), cesium-134 (134Cs), cesium-137 (137Cs), plutonium-239 −240 (239+240Pu), and tritium (3H). Activity levels detected were between 0.6 and 21.3 mBq/L for 90Sr; less than 0.5, 1.4, and 327 Bq/L for 134Cs, 137Cs, and 3H, respectively; and between 0.14 and 21 μBq/L for 239+240Pu. Other nonradioactive parameters were measured including pH; dry residue; conductivity; calcium concentration, [Ca++]; magnesium concentration, [Mg++]; potassium concentration, [K+]; iron(II) and (III) concentration, [Fe2+,3+]; and ammonium concentration [NH4 +]. Only the aquifer corresponding to the refrigeration reservoir of the nuclear power plant of Almaraz (Extremadura, Spain) showed greater-than-average concentrations of 3H and 239+240Pu compared with those found in the remaining aquifers. The greater presence of dissolved Fe in the waters analyzed clearly indicated greater activity associated with 90Sr, 137Cs, and 239+240Pu in dissolution. In addition, the water samples that were highly mineralized aided the dissolution of 90Sr and (to a lesser extent) 137Cs and made dissolution of 239+240Pu more difficult.

Keywords: ARTIFICIAL ISOTOPES; ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY; FRESH WATER; ISOTOPIC METABOLISM; POLLUTION CONTROL

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143001X139290

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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