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J Environ Radioact. 2002;60(1-2):221-34.

Residual radioactive contamination at the peaceful underground nuclear explosion sites "Craton-3" and "Crystal" in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

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Research-Industrial Association V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, St Petersburg, Russia.


In this paper, results are reported on the concentrations and activity ratios of 137Cs, 239+240Pu and 238Pu in soils, lichen and bottom sediments collected at the peaceful underground nuclear explosion sites "Craton-3" and "Crystal" (Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), North-East Siberia). At the "Craton-3" site, 239- 240Pu concentrations in the range 6.2 mBq/g to 5.9 Bq/g in surface soils (0-5 cm) and 239+240Pu concentrations up to 7.4 Bq/g in lichen were observed. The 137Cs concentration in measured soils range from 0.52 to 216 Bq/g for the near-plume and from 1.65 to 21.5 Bq/g for the far-plume. In lichen, 137Cs concentration varied from a global background level up to 251 Bq/g. Radioactive contamination at "Crystal" demonstrates an extremely irregular distribution of 239,240Pu and 137Cs in environmental samples taken at locations within 150 m radius of the site. Further work on compiling detailed maps of radioactive contamination of the territory around "Craton-3" and "Crystal" is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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