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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 9 No. 3, p. 417-420
    Received: June 27, 1979

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Solution Species of Plutonium in the Environment1

  1. Dhanpat Rai,
  2. R. J. Serne and
  3. J. L. Swanson2



Information regarding the oxidation states of Pu in environmental samples is needed for estimating its migration through the geologic media. Predictions based upon thermodynamic data indicate that in the Eh-pH range of natural aqueous environments, the dominant species of Pu is likely to be Pu[V] in relatively oxidizing environments and Pu[III] in reducing environments. Because of the lack of methods of determining Pu[V] in environmental samples containing trace concentrations of Pu, Pu[V] has not been previously identified in these samples. Plutonium[VI] has generally been assumed to be the dominant species in relatively oxidizing environments. However, the results presented in this paper show that solutions in equilibrium with 239Pu[IV] hydroxide contain Pu[V]. The presence of Pu[V] in solutions contacting 239PuO2(s) is also inferred from the data.

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