Origin and age of an ongoing radioactive contamination of soils near La hague reprocessing plant based on <sup>239+240</sup>Pu/<sup>238</sup>Pu and <sup>241</sup>Am/<sup>241</sup>Pu current ratios and <sup>90</sup>Sr and Ln(III) soil contents.

Details

Ressource 1Download: Pittet_1-s2.0-S0045653520335293-main.pdf (787.58 [Ko])
State: Public
Version: Final published version
License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_1EF9D396D4FC
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Origin and age of an ongoing radioactive contamination of soils near La hague reprocessing plant based on <sup>239+240</sup>Pu/<sup>238</sup>Pu and <sup>241</sup>Am/<sup>241</sup>Pu current ratios and <sup>90</sup>Sr and Ln(III) soil contents.
Journal
Chemosphere
Author(s)
Pittet P.A., Josset M., Boilley D., Bernollin A., Rougier G., Froidevaux P.
ISSN
1879-1298 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0045-6535
Publication state
Published
Issued date
05/2021
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
270
Pages
129332
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Abstract
Nuclear reprocessing plants are sources of environmental contamination by gaseous or liquid discharges. Numerous radionuclides are of concern, with actinides and <sup>90</sup> Sr being the most radiotoxic. Environmental radioactivity survey programs mostly use γ-spectrometry to track contaminations because γ-spectrometry is very cost effective and can be carried out on raw samples. On the other hand, the determination of β- or α-emitting radionuclides in environmental samples requires rather sophisticated analytical methods, and are thus dedicated to specific goals. However, measuring radionuclides such as Pu, Am, and Sr often provides more information about the presence of a current or prior contamination and on its origin, based on the isotopic composition of the samples. We found that the analysis of <sup>241</sup> Pu, <sup>239+240</sup> Pu, <sup>241</sup> Am, and <sup>90</sup> Sr of a few selected soil samples taken near the nuclear reprocessing plant of La Hague, France, revealed the presence of a previous environmental contamination originating from several incidents in La Hague site involving atmospheric transfer and leaks in flooded waste pits. The <sup>241</sup> Am- <sup>241</sup> Pu dating method indicated a contamination period prior to 1983. The presence of elevated levels of light non-radioactive lanthanides and yttrium in the soil samples confirmed the involvement of cold fuel. Our results demonstrate how long-lived actinides are likely to reveal a long-term contamination of the environment by spent fuel. Our study indicates that there is a requirement to use more sophisticated tools than γ-spectrometry when surveying the environments surrounding industrial plants for nuclear power and nuclear reprocessing with a potential for the accidental release of radioactivity into the environment.
Keywords
France, Plutonium/analysis, Radioactivity, Soil, Soil Pollutants, Radioactive/analysis, Strontium Radioisotopes, Water Pollutants, Radioactive/analysis, Americium, Contamination, Lanthanides, Nuclear fuel, Plutonium, Reprocessing plant
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
25/01/2021 10:46
Last modification date
17/04/2021 6:33
Usage data