Skip to main content

Immobilization of fission iodine by reaction with insoluble natural organic matter


Iodine-129 is a fission product and highly mobile in the environment. Along with other stable isotopes of iodine, 129I is released during reprocessing of nuclear fuel and must be trapped to prevent the release of radioactivity to the environment. Past studies have provided evidence that iodine can become associated with natural organic matter (NOM). This research explores the use of NOM (sphagnum peat and humic acid) to sequester iodine from the vapor and aqueous phases. NOM-associated iodine may be stable for geological storage. NOM-sequestered iodine can be recovered by pyrolysis to prepare target materials for transmutation. The nature of the NOM-iodine association has been explored.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. D. C. Whitehead, Environ. Intern., 10 (1984) 321.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. K. G. Heumann, G. Rädlinger, M. Erbes, I. Heiber, U. Obst, Z. Filip, H. Claus, Acta Hydrochim. Hydrobiol., 28 (2000) 193.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. S. D. Oktay, P. H. Santschi, J. E. Moran, P. Sharma, Environ. Sci. Technol., 35 (2001) 4470.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. G. Rädlinger, K. G. Heumann, Environ. Sci. Technol., 34 (2000) 3932.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. N. K. Vel Leitner, J. Vessella, M. Done, B. Legube, Environ. Sci. Technol., 32 (1998) 1680.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. J. Warner, W. Casey, R. A. Dahlgreen, Environ. Sci. Technol., 34 (2000) 3180.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Y. Bischel, U. Von Gunten, Anal. Chem., 71 (1999) 34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. C. H. Li, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 64 (1942) 1147.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. C. H. Li, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 67 (1945) 1065.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. S. Mishra, V. Singh, A. Jain, K. K. Verma, Analyst, 125 (2000) 459.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. D. A. Palmer, R. W. Ramette, R. E. Mesmer, J. Nucl. Mater., 130 (1985) 280.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. F. Turner.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Steinberg, S.M., Schmett, G.T., Kimble, G. et al. Immobilization of fission iodine by reaction with insoluble natural organic matter. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 277, 175–183 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: