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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Naturally Occurring Fixation of Cesium-137 on Sediments of Lacustrine Origin1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 4, p. 383-387
    Received: Nov 18, 1964
    Accepted: Mar 23, 1965

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  1. T. F. Lomenick and
  2. T. Tamura2



White Oak Lake formerly served as a final settling basin for contaminated waste water discharged from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The site, which now serves as an ecological study preserve, covers an area of 44 acres and contains approximately 1,000,000 ft3 of contaminated sediment. The most abundant radionuclide present in the sediment of lacustrine origin is Cs137, 704 ± 35 curies. Concentrations of Cs137 on the sediment were observed to be as high as 77 × 10-3 µc/g. More than 80% of the Cs137 is associated with the clay fraction of the material, which was found to be predominantly illite. Significant quantities of Cs137 were removed from the material only by treatment with strong acids. Studies of several selected clays showed illite to have a high affinity for Cs137 at levels of the same order of magnitude as those observed in lake bed sediment and that desorption is only accomplished after disruption of the lattice structure.

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