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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Comparative kinetic desorption of 60Co, 85Sr and 134Cs from a contaminated natural silica sand column: Influence of varying physicochemical conditions and dissolved organic matter

Journal title : Environmental Pollution
Volume : 141
Issue : 1
Pagination : 98-106 
Publication date : 01/05/2006

Summary

In order to determine the mechanisms of the retention of 60Co, 85Sr and 134Cs in natural silica sand columns, desorption experiments were performed by changes of pH and ionic strength and by injection of natural organic matter (NOM). Injection of KCl (0.1 M) resulted in a high release of 60Co (60-100%) and 85Sr (72-100%) but a smaller release of 134Cs (31-66%). Only limited release of 60Co (66%) and 85Sr (71%) and no release of 134Cs were observed by injection of NOM. The different percentages of desorption were related to the chemical characteristics of the organic colloids previously retained in columns before the desorption step. The results evidenced different sorption processes on energetically heterogeneous surface sites. According to the initial conditions, the binding of the radionuclides to the solid phase resulted from weak and easily reversible sorption processes to strong association probably by inner sphere complexes. The rather weak release of 134Cs by KCl was attributed to the strong retention of 134Cs by clay coatings on the natural silica sand surfaces.

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