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The Yenisei River is contaminated with artificial radionuclides released by one of the Russian nuclear plants. The aquatic plants growing in the radioactively contaminated parts of the river contain artificial radionuclides. The aim of the study was to investigate accumulation of artificial radionuclides and stable elements by submerged plants of the Yenisei River and estimate the strength of their binding to plant biomass by using a new sequential extraction scheme. The aquatic plants sampled were: Potamogeton lucens, Fontinalis antipyretica, and Batrachium kauffmanii. Gamma-spectrometric analysis of the samples of aquatic plants has revealed more than 20 radionuclides. We also investigated the chemical fractionation of radionuclides and stable elements in the biomass and rated radionuclides and stable elements based on their distribution in biomass. The greatest number of radionuclides strongly bound to biomass cell structures was found for Potamogeton lucens and the smallest for Batrachium kauffmanii. For Fontinalis antipyretica, the number of distribution patterns that were similar for both radioactive isotopes and their stable counterparts was greater than for the other studied species. The transuranic elements (239)Np and (241)Am were found in the intracellular fraction of the biomass, and this suggested their active accumulation by the plants.


Alexander Bolsunovsky. Chemical fractionation of radionuclides and stable elements in aquatic plants of the Yenisei River. Environmental science & technology. 2011 Sep 1;45(17):7143-50

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PMID: 21815683

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