A study of radionuclides in vegetation on abandoned uranium tailings

  • M. J. Apps
  • M. J. M. Duke
  • L. G. Stephens-Newsham


A study has been carried out of the uptake of uranium and other radionuclides by plants growing on abandoned tailings from an uranium mining operation. Assay methods included instrumental neutron activation analysis, delayed neutron counting, fission track imaging, and counting of natural radioactivity. Care was taken to avoid contamination of the plant material and a number of methods are described to identify such contamination. All plants observed showed high uptake of radionuclides, compared to plants studied from naturally uraniferous and control areas. Graminoid (grass-like) plants showed significant uptake in the above-ground parts while woody plants showed exceedingly high uranium accumulation in the root portions. These results have significance in determination of the spread of radioactive material from such sites.


Uranium Radionuclide Neutron Activation Neutron Activation Analysis Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Apps
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. J. M. Duke
    • 2
  • L. G. Stephens-Newsham
    • 2
  1. 1.Canadian Forestry ServiceNorthern Forestry CentreEdmonton(Canada)
  2. 2.SLOWPOKE Reactor FacilityUniv. of AlbertaEdmonton(Canada)

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