Measurement of Penetration Depths of Plutonium and Americium in Sediment from the Ocean Floor
The clay-like sediment covering the ocean floor constitutes the last barrier that shields the biosphere from contamination by radionuclides stemming from the nuclear wastes of a subseabed repository. In the event of a failure of the engineered barriers, the mobility of the released radionuclides in the sediment determines the rate and the extent of entry into the water of the ocean. In this article, we present the initial results of measurements designed to determine the mobility of transuranium elements in sediment from the ocean floor. Our data indicate very low migration rates and imply strong chemisorptive interaction with the sediment.
KeywordsNuclear Waste Effective Diffusion Coefficient Ocean Floor Transuranium Element Iodide Concentration
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