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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Extractability of 238Pu and 242Cm From a Contaminated Soil as a Function of pH and Certain Soil Components: HNO3-NaOH System1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 1, p. 51-56
    Received: Jan 19, 1977
    Accepted: Aug 19, 1977

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  1. H. Nishita,
  2. M. Hamilton and
  3. A. J. Steen2



Extractability of 238Pu and 242Cm from a contaminated soil as a function of pH and certain soil components has been examined. This was done with an equilibrium batch technique using HNO3-NaOH extracting system. The influence of various soil components on 238Pu and 242Cm extractability was determined indirectly by selectively removing them from the soil. Soil organic matter, free iron oxides, and free silica, alumina, and amorphous alumino-silicates influenced the chemical extractability of 238Pu and 242Cm. The influence of these soil components depended on the pH of the soil suspension. Below pH ∼4.5, 238Pu appeared to be more strongly sorbed on the mineral fraction of the soil than 242Cm, but above pH ∼4.5, both were strongly sorbed on the mineral fraction. With the contaminated virgin soil, the 238Pu and 242Cm extractability ranged from 4.82 to 53.05% and 0.15 to 64.58% of dose, respectively, depending on the pH of the extracting solution. The liquid to solid K′d values ranged from 4.1 × 10−3 to 9.1 × 10−2 and 1.2 × 10−4 to 1.5 × 10 for 238Pu and 242Cm, respectively. The lowest extractability occurred around pH 7.1 for 238Pu and in the range of pH 4.7 to 5.6 for 242Cm.

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