Application of 129I as an environmental tracer

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Abstract

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.

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.