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Health Phys. 1999 Mar;76(3):251-9.

Kinetics of fuel particle weathering and 90Sr mobility in the Chernobyl 30-km exclusion zone.

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  • 1Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology, Kiev.


Weathering of fuel particles and the subsequent leaching of radionuclides causes 90Sr mobility in Chernobyl soils to increase with time after deposition. Studies of 90Sr speciation in soils collected in 1995 and 1996 from the Chernobyl 30-km exclusion zone have been used to calculate rates of fuel particles dissolution under natural environmental conditions. Results show that the velocity of fuel particle dissolution is primarily dependent on the physico-chemical characteristics of the particles and partially dependent on soil acidity. Compared to other areas, the fuel particle dissolution rate is significantly lower in the contaminated areas to the west of the Chernobyl reactor where deposited particles were presumably not oxidized prior to release. The data have been used to derive mathematical models that describe the rate of radionuclide leaching from fuel particles in the exclusion zone and changes in soil-to-plant transfer as a function of particle type and soil pH.

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