Accumulation of 90Sr by Plants of Different Taxonomic Groups from the Soils at the East Ural Radioactive Trace

  • Ludmila N. Mikhailovskaya
  • Vera N. Pozolotina
  • Elena V. Antonova


The East Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT) is a result of the accident at the “Mayak” Production Association (PA) in 1957 (the so-called Kyshtym accident). Among the long-lived radionuclides, 90Sr was the primary emission contaminant at the time of the accident. At present, the density of soil contamination within the EURT varies over a wide range (10–70,000 kBq m−2); the spatial distribution of 90Sr with increasing distance from the epicenter of the accident is satisfactorily approximated by an exponential function. The essential amount of this radionuclide is located in the 15–20-cm layer of the soil. We estimated the content of 90Sr in plants growing at sites with different levels of soil contamination. The densities of soil contamination mainly determined the absorption of 90Sr by plants.

We investigated 90Sr accumulation by plants of major taxonomic groups, which included tree species, herbaceous plants, mosses and lichens. The results showed that the maximum concentrations of 90Sr were found in surface mosses and in the leaves of woody plants; the large branches of trees, herbaceous plants and epiphytic lichens accumulated 2–4 times less 90Sr, and the content of 90Sr in fungi was minimal. We evaluated the contribution of the species specificity of herbaceous plants to 90Sr accumulation using the Fabaceae family as an example. The variability of the accumulation capacity of most species of this family was small.


90Sr Transition coefficient East ural radioactive trace Kyshtym accident Plants Radionuclide accumulation Soils Taxonomic groups 



This research was carried out partially with financial support from Program of Basic Scientific Researches at Ural Branch of RAS, project No 15-2-4-21.


  1. Aarkrog A, Dahlgaard H, Nielsen SP, Trapeznikov AV, Molchanova IV, Pozolotina VN, Karavaeva EN, Yushkov PI, Polikarpov GG (1997) Radioactive inventories from the Kyshtym and Karachay accidents: estimates based on soil samples collected in the South Urals (1990-1995). Sci Total Environ 201:137–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beresford NA, Wright SM (2005) Non-linearity in radiocaesium soil to plant transfer: fact or fiction? Radioprotection 40:67–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Deryagin VV, Levina SG, Sutyagin AA, Parfilova NS (2015) Specific features of radioactive pollution of soils of catchment areas of Lake Shablish (Distant Zone of the East Ural Radioactive Trace). Radiats Biol Radioecol 55:655–666Google Scholar
  4. Izrael YA (2013) Atlas of the East Ural and Karachay radioactive trace including forecast up to 2047. “Infosphere” Foundation, IGCE Rosgidromet and RAS, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  5. Karavaeva EN, Molchanova IV, Mikhailovskaya LN (2008) Mobility of technogenic radionuclides in the soil-plant system. Russ J Ecol 39:83–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Karavaeva Y, Molchanova I, Mikhaylovskaya L (2009) Peculiarities of the technogenical radionuclides transfer from soils into plants in the radioactive contaminated areas. Radioprotection 44:371–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mikhailovskaya LN, Molchanova IV, Nifontova MG (2015) Global fallout radionuclides in plants of terrestrial ecosystems of the Ural region. Russ J Ecol 46:7–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mikhailovskaya LN, Molchanova IV, Pozolotina VN, Zhuravlev YN, Timofeeva YO, Burdukovskii ML (2017) Radioactive contamination of the soil- plant cover at certain locations of Primorsky Krai, Sakhalin Island and Kamchatka Peninsula: Assessment of the Fukushima fallout. J Environ Radioact 172:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Molchanova IV, Pozolotina VN, Karavaeva EN, Mikhailovskaya LN, Antonova EV, Antonov KL (2009) Radioactive inventories within the East-Ural radioactive state reserve on the Southern-Urals. Radioprotection 44:747–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Molchanova IV, Pozolotina VN, Antonova EV, Mikhaylovskaya LN (2011) The impacts of permanent irradiation on the terrestrial ecosystems of the Eastern-Ural Radioactive Trace. Radioprotection 46:567–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Molchanova IV, Mikhailovskaya LN, Pozolotina VN, Antonova EV (2014a) Man-made radionuclides and their accumulation by plants of different taxonomic groups from the soils of the Eastern Ural Radioactive Trace. Radiats Biol Radioecol 54:77–84Google Scholar
  12. Molchanova IV, Mikhaylovskaya LN, Antonov K, Pozolotina VN, Antonova EV (2014b) Current assessment of integrated content of long-lived radionuclides in soils of the head part of the East Ural Radioactive Trace. J Environ Radioact 138:238–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Molchanova IV, Kaygorodova SY, Mikhailovskaya LN, Gaberstein TY, Hlystov IA (2016) Composition, property and level of radionuclide contamination of the soil cover within 15 km zone of the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant. J Sib Fed Univ Biol 3:321–337Google Scholar
  14. Pozolotina VN, Molchanova IV, Karavaeva EN, Mikhaylovskaya LN, Antonova EV (2008) The current state of terrestrial ecosystems at the East Ural Radioactive Trace area: contamination levels and biological effects. Goschitsky Press, EkaterinburgGoogle Scholar
  15. Pozolotina VN, Molchanova IV, Karavaeva EN, Mikhaylovskaya LN, Antonova EV (2010) Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems of the zone of Kyshtym accident in the Urals. J Environ Radioact 101:438–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pozolotina VN, Molchanova IV, Mikhaylovskaya LN, Antonova EV, Karavaeva EN (2012) The current state of terrestrial ecosystems in the Eastern Ural Radioactive Trace. In: Javier Guillen Gerado (ed) Radionuclides: sources, properties and hazards. Nova Science, New York, pp 1–22Google Scholar
  17. Romanov GN, Nikipelov BV, Drozhko EG (1990) The Kyshtym accident: causes, scale and radiation characteristics. In: Seminar on comparative assessment of the environmental impact of radionuclides released during three major nuclear accidents: Kyshtym, Windscale, Chernobyl Commission of the European Communities, Luxemburg, pp 25–40Google Scholar
  18. Shcheglov AI, Tsvetnova OB, Klyashtorin AL (2001) Biogeochemistry of technogenic radionuclides in forest ecosystems. Science, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  19. Shershakov VM, Bulgakov VG, Kryshev II, Vakulovsky SV, Katkova MN, Kim VM, Kryshev AI (2015) Radiation situation in the territory of Russia and neighboring countries in 2014 yearbook. Roshydromet, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  20. Sokolov VE, Krivolutsky DA (1993) Ecological after-effects of the radioactive contamination at South Ural. Science, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  21. Tarasov OV, Fedorova OV, Tananaev IG, Sergienko VI (2016) Forms of state and the migration of radionuclides in the soil of the East Ural radioactive trace. Bull Far East Branch Russ Acad Sci 1:47–52Google Scholar
  22. Teterin AF (2011) Ecological and climatic characteristics at the East Ural Radioactive Trace area. UB RAN, EkaterinburgGoogle Scholar
  23. Tsaturov YS, Anisimova LI (1994) Radionuclide contaminated territories of Russia: identification, restoring and rehabilitation aspects. In: Remediation and restoration of radioactive-contaminated sites in Europe, Symposium Proceedings, Antwerpen, 11–15 Oct 1993. European Commission, Luxembourg, pp 309–324Google Scholar
  24. Tsvetaeva NE, Filin VM, Ivanova LA, Revnov VN, Rodionov EP, Rudaya LY, Suslin IA, Shapiro KY (1984) Use of monoisooctylmethylphosphonic acid and its trivalent iron salt in determining radionuclides in effluents. Sov Atom Energy 57:548–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vakulovsky SV (2011) The radiation situation in the territory of Russia and neighboring countries in 2010 yearbook. Roshydromet, MoscowGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludmila N. Mikhailovskaya
    • 1
  • Vera N. Pozolotina
    • 2
  • Elena V. Antonova
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Common RadioecologyInstitute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Population RadiobiologyInstitute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia

Personalised recommendations