Authors:V. Berezhnoi, N. Valetova, G. Dunaev, N. Kazakov, and V. Zubarev
Some Chernobyl soils were collected in the north-west direction. The samples have been separated into particle size fractions 1–2; 0.5–1; 0.25–0.5; 0.16–0.25; 0.05–0.16; 0.01–0.05; 0.005–0.01; 0.002–0.005; 0.00005–0.002; and less than 0.00005 mm. The fractions were analyzed on238,239,240Pu,241Am,242,244Cm content. In contrast to the global plutonium fallout, the peak of plutonium activity falls in the particle size range of 0.01–0.05 or 0.005–0.01 mm in Chernobyl soils. Transplutonium elements are more mobile in the soil. As the distance from Chernobyl increases, the trend of their distribution becomes much similar to the global fallout. It is found that the most mobile part of soil with particles of sizes less than 0.05 mm contains 55–70% of plutonium activity and 30–65% of americium and curium activity.
Authors:Ya. Gaziev, G. Petrenko, V. Chumichyev, N. Valetova, V. Shkuro, and A. Polukhina
Atmospheric contamination pattern by Pu-radionuclides over a 30 km zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1987–1988 has been examined. Aerosol samples were analyzed for isotopic composition by using gamma- and alpha-spectrometric, and radiochemcal methods. Preliminary analysis of isotopic and fractional composition of aerosols carried out earlier indicated that over the first few months after the Chernobyl accident the relative contribution of238,239,240Pu to air contamination was lowered as compared with beta-active products. At present, however, alpha-active plutonium isotopes became the dominant radioactive contaminants of the atmosphere and the concentrations of238,239,240Pu inhaled fractions turned out to be lower than the limiting permissible values based on the USSR radiation safety standards for radioactive contamination of the atmosphere for the limited part of population exposed to radionuclides. Neverheless, it is necessary to know even moderate levels of atmospheric contamination by Pu-radionuclides, since their long impacts on the personnel operating in the 30 km zone of the Chernobyl NPP and population residing in the adjavent regions have not been studied properly. So, the risks for population health of such impacts cannot be generally excluded from consideration.