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  • 1 Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sofia, “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1, J. Bourchier Blvd., Sofia, 1164, Bulgaria
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Abstract

Extreme changes of environmental conditions can alter the soil properties and influence the migration ability and bioavailability of pollutants. Elucidation of the effects of the extreme weather conditions, such as sharp temperature change, drought and floods, on the fractionation of radionuclides in different soil types is especially important for adequate risk assessment after radioactive contamination. The effects of short-term and prolonged freezing and soil drought on the geochemical fractionation of americium in two soil types (Fluvisol and Cambisol, classified according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources/FAO) from Bulgaria were studied. The changes of the physico-chemical forms of 241Am after storage under different conditions were determined by the sequential extraction procedure and gamma-spectrometric measurements. The impact of the sharp temperature decrease and drought on the association of the radionuclide with the various soil phases was considered in terms of the soil characteristics. The results showed that the risk of increased mobility and bioavailability of americium in the loamy-sand soil with acidic pH and very low cation exchange capacity (CEC) exists under the examined extreme environmental conditions. The soil with sand-loam texture tended to immobilize americium after freeze and drought storage.

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