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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 10 No. 4, p. 487-491
    Received: Oct 20, 1980

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Comparative Uptake of Actinides by Plants and Rats from the Shoreline of a Radioactive Pond1

  1. Charles T. Garten2



To compare the bioaccumulation of several actinide elements by plants and rats from a contaminated pond shoreline, concentrations of 233U, 238U, 241Am, 244Cm, and 239Pu were measured radiochemically in shoreline sediment, emergent macrophytes, cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), and soil and fescue grass (Festuca sp.) collected 3–5 m away from the shoreline, of a former low-level liquid radioactive waste pond. The relative extractability of actinides from the shoreline sediment using 1M HNO3 and 0.01M HCl was U > Am = Cm > Pu. Actinide concentrations in shoreline plants, expressed as geometric means, were 2–150 times greater than in fescue collected away from the pond shoreline. Concentrations of actinides in rat gastrointestinal tracts were greater than or equal to concentrations in shoreline plants. From a comparison of plant/sediment and rat-carcass/sediment or rat-carcass/plant concentration ratios, the conclusion is that the relative uptake of actinides by plants and rats from the pond shoreline was Pu < Am ≤ Cm < 233U = 238U.

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