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The reproducibility, the small scale as well as the large scale variability of137Cs extracted sequentially from the soil by using a modified Tessier procedure was investigated at several grassland sites in Bavaria/Germany and in the Chemobyl area. Because undisturbed grassland soils are never homogeneous with respect to their soil properties, all sequential extractions at the German sites were carried out at each plot separately for different soil layers (e.g., 0–2, 2–5, 5–10, 10–15, 15–20 and 20–30 cm). The results show that the coefficients of variation (CV) for the reproducibility of the extraction procedure for137Cs was (with some exceptions) around 10–20% for all fractions. For the small scale variability of137Cs (samples within an area of 10×10m2) the values for theCV were (again with a few exceptions) in the same range. Compared to that, the large scale variability of extractable137Cs (random soil samples within an area of 100×200 km2) was higher for all fractions, even though only moderately. The implications of these results with respect to a sampling design are discussed.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: K. Bunzl, M. Puhakainen, I. Riekkinnen, P. Karhu, W. Schimmack, T. Heikinnen, T. Jaakkola, V. Nikonov, V. Pavlov, T. Rahola, K. Rissanen, M. Suomela, M. Tillander, and M. Äyräs


The industrial pollution of an ecosystem, e.g., by heavy metals, might also affect the behavior of fallout radionuclides in the soils of these areas. To study such effects, we determined at various distances from the huge copper-nickel smelters at Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula (Russia) and at a reference site: (1) the vertical distribution of fallout 137Cs,90Sr and239+240Pu in the soil, (2) the corresponding residence half-times in different soil horizons, and (3) the resulting external gamma-dose rates at these sites in 1 m height due to 137Cs in the soil. The data show that the residence half-times and the partitioning of the fallout radionuclides among the various soil horizons depend significantly on the extent of the heavy metal pollution at the sites. The resulting external gamma-dose rate in 1 m height due to 137Cs in the soil is, however, rather similar at the various sites.

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