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Solid-liquid distribution coefficients (Kd-s) of geological deposits at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant site with respect to Sr, Cs and Pu radionuclides: a short review

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A review is presented of data on solid-liquid distribution coefficients (Kd-s) of the main radiologically important radionuclides of the Chernobyl release within geological deposits at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) Site. The Kd values for Sr, Cs and Pu for Quaternary sandy deposits that form sedimentary cover at Chernobyl fall within the range of parameters reported in international sorption databases. In agreement with general knowledge on radionuclide geochemical behavior and affinity to soils, Kd-s increase in the sequence: Sr < Cs < Pu. Alluvial and fluvioglacial sandy deposits are characterized by larger Kd values then deposits of eolian genesis due to higher content of clay minerals in fine fractions. For Sr, laboratory batch tests have given Kd values that are in a reasonable agreement with in situ measurements. At the same time, the 90Sr Kd-s obtained from groundwater transport model calibrations were noticeably lower than experimentally determined values, thus showing potential limitations of the Kd-approach. Monitoring data on mobility of 90Sr, 137Cs and 239,240Pu in groundwater in the Chernobyl zone on a whole are consistent with the radionuclide Kd-s summarized in this article. The highest concentrations in groundwater (based on data for 2012–2014) were observed for 90Sr, while orders of magnitude lower concentrations were observed for 137Cs and 239,240Pu. At the same time, detection of 137Cs and 239,240Pu in groundwater at sites with a relatively deep groundwater table suggests the possibility of facilitated transport of small amounts of these radionuclides in the form of non-retarded colloids or complexes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125175
Number of pages12
Early online date23 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


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