Biotechnology and Environment

Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458 Vol. 9 No. 3, Special Issue, 2006
© 2006 by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile  
DOI: 10.2225/vol9-issue3-fulltext-5  

Radioactive trace in semi natural grassland. Effect of 40K in soil and potential remediation

Liliana Eugenia del Carmen Ciuffo*
Facultad de Química, Bioquímica y Farmacia
Universidad Nacional de San Luis
Ejército de los Andes 950
San Luis, Argentina
Tel: 54 2652 423789 256
Fax: 54 2652 430301

María Belli
Agenzia per la Protezione dell'Ambiente e per i Servizi Tecnici
Via di Castel Romano 100
Roma, Italia
Tel: 0039 06 50072925
Fax: 0039 06 5050519

*Corresponding author

Financial support: This work was carried out as a part of the EC-project “Long term dynamics of radionuclides in semi-natural environments: derivation of parameters and modeling” in the EC-framework “Nuclear Fission Safety”. Research Contract # F14P-CT95-0022. European Commission - Nuclear Fission Safety Programme.

Keywords: 137Cs plant uptake, radioactive traces, radiocaesium, radiopotassium.


CV: variation coefficient
GM: geometric mean
TF: transfer factor

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The uptake of radionuclides by plant roots constitutes the main pathway for the migration of radiocaesium from soil to humans, via food chain. In this study we assessed radiocaesium uptake by plant in order to piece together information on factors affecting uptake processes, particularly K supply and differential uptake among different plant species. Soil contaminated by the Chernobyl accident and forage from a semi-natural alpine grassland, situated in Tarvisio, Italy, were sampled during 1999. Under field conditions, 137Cs uptake for Graminaceae and Taraxacum officinale seem to behave in a comparable way. Higher 40K soil activity concentration leads to a lower 137Cs plant uptake, suggesting an inhibitory pattern of potassium on radiocaesium plants uptake. For forage samples, a similar tendency was observed. We analyzed the influence of the ratio of 137Cs/ 40K in soil on 137Cs plant uptake. Under field conditions, the ratio observed varied in a range of 0.5 to 1.3. For most of the species, at higher 40K soil concentration a lower 137Cs uptake was observed, a fact that reflects the resulting effect of the complexity of factors controlling ion absorption from soil.

Supported by UNESCO / MIRCEN network