Concentration and specific activity of fallout 137Cs in extracted and particle-size fractions of cultivated soils.
ABSTRACT Fallout (137)Cs and stable Cs in soils were separated with two extractants (1M CH(3)COONH(4) solution and 0.8M CH(3)COONH(4) in 5% HNO(3) solution after H(2)O(2) oxidization). The residue remaining after removal of the oxidizable organic-bound fraction was separated into the particle-size fractions including clay, silt, fine sand and coarse sand with a sieving and sedimentation method. Then, the concentrations of (137)Cs and stable Cs in the extracted fractions and the particle-size fractions were determined. The (137)Cs contents in the exchangeable and organic-bound fractions in the soil were approximately 10 and 20%, respectively. The (137)Cs content in the strongly bound fraction was about 70%, and the concentration of (137)Cs in the clay was the richest among the particle-size fractions. The specific activity of (137)Cs (concentration ratio of fallout (137)Cs/stable Cs) decreased in the order exchangeable, organic-bound and strongly bound fractions. The data suggest that equilibrium between (137)Cs and stable Cs was not reached among those fractions, even though most of the (137)Cs that had been deposited on the soil was derived from fallout weapons tests that occurred several decades ago. The concentration of (137)Cs among the particle-size fractions in each soil was different, whereas the specific activity of (137)Cs in the particle-size fractions had a relatively similar value.