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Behavior of tracer amounts of strontium, caesium, ruthenium and zirconium in soils and plants according to the data of investigations with radioactive isotopes of these elements



Behavior of tracer amounts of strontium, caesium, ruthenium and zirconium in soils and plants according to the data of investigations with radioactive isotopes of these elements



Proc First [unesco] Internatl Conf Sci Res 4: 150-172



Absorp-tion and desorption of microquantities of Cs, Sn, Ru and Zr in soils, their accumulation and distribution in plants were studied in experiments with the use of radioactive isotopes of these elements. The uptake of Cs and Sn by plants from the aqueous solutions is relatively more intensive as compared with that of Ru and Zr, the accumulation of the latter being considerably lower. Moreover Ru and Zr are mainly held up in the root system of the plant, while Sn and Cs penetrate mostly into the aboveground parts of the plant, accumulating in leaves and stems and, to a lesser degree, in the reproductive organs. The influence of the salt content of the solution and its reaction on the penetration of microquantities of the above-mentioned elements into the plants was studied. In experiments with foliar application of microquantities of the said elements, Cs showed the most marked capacity for passing from the treated leaves to other parts of the plant and for being accumulated in its reproductive organs. The movement of the radioactive isotopes of Cs, Sn, Ru and Zr from the soil into the plant is greatly influenced by the zirconium from the soil into the plant is greatly influenced by the absorption and desorption processes of these elements in the soil. The laws governing the interaction of various types of soils with solutions containing microquantities of Cs, Sn and Zr were studied. The effect of fertilizers, liming and other factors on the assimilation of these elements by the plants from the soil, was also investigated. It was established that the ion-exchange nature of Sr absorption in soil and its capacity for desorption is responsible for relatively more intense uptake by plant of radioactive strontium from the soil. Microquantities of Cs are, as a rule, fixed more strongly in soils, partly in non-exchangeable form, which accounts for considerably reduced Cs uptake from the soil. In the soil absorption and desorption processes of radioactive substances in soil represented by two genetically bound radioactive nuclides such as Sn 90 and Y 90, or Zr 95 and niobium 95 the equilibrium between mother and daughter isotopes is disturbed. The change in the ratio between mother and daughter nuclides is also observed in the process of assimilation of Sr90 + Y90 by plants and particularly in their movement from one part of the plant to another. It has been shown that if strontium 90 is applied through the leaves, Y 90 formed in the tissue of the leaf moves into the young and growing parts of the plant more rapidly than strontium. A similar phenomenon is observed in experiments with grafted plants when micro-quantities of radio-Sr were administered through the roots of one of the components of the grafted plant (before grafting) and when subsequent movement of Sr90 + Y90 was studied under such conditions.

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