, Volume 286, Issue 2, pp 309-316
Date: 19 Aug 2010

Transport of 125I, 137Cs+ and 85Sr2+ in granitoidic rock and soil columns

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Abstract

Transport of 125I, 137Cs+ and 85Sr2+ radionuclides in crushed granitoidic rocks and homogenized soils was studied. Two simple methods for calculation of breakthrough curves in flow column experiments with groundwater as transport medium have been described. The first method, so called non-linear approach, is derived on the assumption of a reversible non-linear sorption isotherm described with Freundlich equation, i.e., with non-constant distribution and retardation coefficients. The second method, so-called linear approach, is applied for reference only, and is based on the assumption of a reversible sorption characterized with linear sorption isotherm, i.e., with constant distribution and retardation coefficients. Both methods model the experimental breakthrough curves with the integrated form of the simple 1-D advection–dispersion equation (ADE) expressed analytically for pulse application of radiotracer to the liquid phase before entering the columns. The integrated form of the ADE equation was modified by the so-called peak position and peak height correction coefficients the advantage of which consists among others in the elimination of the influence of starting concentration. The comparison of both approaches has shown that fitting by means of non-linear approach has given rather reliable values of the transport parameters and calculated dependences, especially in a case of 137Cs system characterized evidently with non-linear type of sorption isotherms. As for 125I, the sorption capacity of all solid samples studied is nearly on the zero level and 125I is practically not retarded, and from this point of view it behaves as non-interacting component. In addition, it was found that the modified ADE gives rather better results than the classical one.