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Title: Trench ‘Bathtubbing’ and Surface Plutonium Contamination at a Legacy Radioactive Waste Site.
Authors: Payne, TE
Harrison, JJ
Hughes, CE
Johansen, MP
Thiruvoth, S
Wilsher, KL
Cendón, DI
Stuart, HI
Rowling, B
Zawadzki, A
Keywords: Radioisotopes
Issue Date: 3-Nov-2013
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Citation: Payne, T.E., Harrison, J.J., Hughes, C.E., Johansen, M.P., Thiruvoth, S., Wilsher, K.L., Cendon, D.I., Hankin, S.I., Ling, B.R., & Zawadzki, A. (2013). Trench 'bathtubbing' and surface plutonium contamination at a legacy radioactive waste site. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(23), 13284-13293. doi:10.1021/es403278r
Abstract: Radioactive waste containing a few grams of plutonium (Pu) was disposed between 1960 and 1968 in trenches at the Little Forest Burial Ground (LFBG), near Sydney, Australia. A water sampling point installed in a former trench has enabled the radionuclide content of trench water and the response of the water level to rainfall to be studied. The trench water contains readily measurable Pu activity (similar to 12 Bq/L of Pu239+240 in 0.45 mu m-filtered water), and there is an associated contamination of Pu in surface soils. The highest Pu239+240 soil activity was 829 Bq/kg in a shallow sample (0-1 cm depth) near the trench sampling point. Away from the trenches, the elevated concentrations of Pu in surface soils extend for tens of meters down-slope. The broader contamination may be partly attributable to dispersion events in the first decade after disposal, after which a layer of soil was added above the trenched area. Since this time, further Pu contamination has occurred near the trench-sampler within this added layer. The water level in the trench-sampler responds quickly to rainfall and intermittently reaches the surface, hence the Pu dispersion is attributed to saturation and overflow of the trenches during extreme rainfall events, referred to as the 'bathtub' effect.© 2013, American Chemical Society.
Gov't Doc #: 5726
URI: http//
ISSN: 0013-936X
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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