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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 27 No. 2, p. 141-144
    Received: Apr 11, 1962
    Accepted: June 26, 1962

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The Leaching of Radiostrontium and Radiocesium Through Soils1

  1. J. R. Miller and
  2. R. F. Reitemeier2



Sr90 and Cs137 are hazardous, long-lived, nuclear fission products. Experiments were conducted in the greenhouse to determine their downward movement in soils under intensive leaching. The five soils (Norfolk, Hagerstown, Miami, Fort Collins, and Huntley series) selected for the investigation represented a wide range of soil properties, and the leaching treatments consisted of 30 inches and 300 inches of deionized water, 0.005N NaCl, and 0.005N CaCl2. There was little downward movement of Cs134 when the soils received the applications of deionized water, NaCl, or CaCl2. Radioactive assays of the soil columns showed that 96.6 to 100% of the Cs134 was in the surface two layers of the soil columns (average depth 1.4 inches) after 300 inches of leaching. In the leaching experiment with Sr, the CaCl2 produced the greatest movement of Sr89 and deionized water the least. The maximum distance Sr89 penetrated into the soils when leached with 30 inches of water was 1.3 inches, and with 300 inches of water the distance was 4.3 inches. In general, there was more movement of Sr89 in the Norfolk soil and least in the Huntley, with the other soils being intermediate.

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