Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 262, Issue 1, pp 67–75

Application of 129I as an environmental tracer


  • Xiaolin Hou
    • Risø National LaboratoryNUK-202 DK-4000 Roskilde

DOI: 10.1023/B:JRNC.0000040855.91732.9f

Cite this article as:
Hou, X. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry (2004) 262: 67. doi:10.1023/B:JRNC.0000040855.91732.9f


129I is produced naturally by cosmic-ray spallation of Xe and by spontaneous fission of 238U. In the environment 129I is mainly due to nuclear weapon tests and reprocessing plants. The high water solubility of iodine makes 129I a good oceanographic tracer. Long residence time and large air releases of 129I from reprocessing plants allow 129I to be used as a geochemical and metrological tracer. The same chemical and physical properties of 129I and 131I enable one to use 129I as a tool for the reconstruction of 131I doses after a nuclear accident. Some studies using 129I as a tracer which were carried out in the author's laboratory, are summarized.

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© Kluwer Academic Publisher/Akadémiai Kiadó 2004