Preliminary estimates of cumulative caesium and plutonium deposition in the Irish terrestrial environment

P. I. Mitchell, J. A. Sanchez-Cabeza, T. P. Ryan, A. T. McGarry, A. Vidal-Quatras

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Abstract

A number of soil and peat cores, sampled throughout Ireland from November 1987 to March 1988, have been analyzed for fallout caesium and plutonium. Specifically,134Cs and137Cs levels were measured by high resolution gamma spectrometry while238Pu and239,240Pu were determined after chemical extraction by alpha spectrometry. The inventories of these nuclides at the locations sampled have been calculated from the resulting profiles and, by extrapolation, preliminary estimates made of the cumulative deposition throughout Ireland. The relative contribution from weapons testing in the atmosphere and the Chernobyl accident to the total caesium inventory have been determined by the134Cs/137Cs isotopic ratio. As expected, no plutonium of Chernobyl origin was detected in surface layers. The cumulative238Pu/239,240Pu ratio measured in Irish soils was found to be consistant with mid-latitude ratios reported by others. © 1990 Akadémiai Kiadó.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-256
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry Articles
Volume138
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1990

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