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Retention and translocation of foliar applied 239,240Pu and 241Am, as compared to 137Cs and 85Sr, into bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Henner, P., Colle, C., Morello, M.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Volume 83, Issue 2, 2005, Pages 213-229

Summary

Foliar transfer of 241Am, 239,240Pu, 137Cs and 85Sr was evaluated after contamination of bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) at the flowering development stage, by soaking their first two trifoliate leaves into contaminated solutions. Initial retentions of 241Am (27%) and 239,240Pu (37%) were higher than those of 137Cs and 85Sr (10-15%). Mean fraction of retained activity redistributed among bean organs was higher for 137Cs (20.3%) than for 239,240Pu (2.2%), 241Am (1%) or 85Sr (0.1%). Mean leaf-to-pod translocation factors (Bq kg-1dry weight pod/Bq kg-1dry weight contaminated leaves) were 5.0 × 10 -4 for 241Am, 2.7 × 10-6 for 239,240Pu, 5.4 × 10-2 for 137Cs and 3.6 × 10-4 for 85Sr. Caesium was mainly recovered in pods (12.8%). Americium and strontium were uniformly redistributed among leaves, stems and pods. Plutonium showed preferential redistribution in oldest bean organs, leaves and stems, and very little redistribution in forming pods. Results for americium and plutonium were compared to those of strontium and caesium to evaluate the consistency of the attribution of behaviour of strontium to transuranium elements towards foliar transfer, based on translocation factors, as stated in two radioecological models, ECOSYS-87 and ASTRAL.

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