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237 Np 239 Puatom ratios in integrated global fallout: a reassessment of the production of237Np

Authors
Journal
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
0265-931X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
38
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0265-931x(97)00033-7
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Ecology

Abstract

Abstract It is estimated that as much as 3 tons of 237Np ( T 1 2 = 2.14 × 10 6 years) was released to the environment during the above-ground testing of nuclear weapons. This estimate is based on the analysis of 237 Np 239 Pu atom ratios (0.7 ± 0.2) in soil samples believed to have captured the entire global fallout record. In the course of several studies dealing with the behavior of transuranic radionuclides in different ecosystems, we measured the 237 Np 239 Pu atom ratios in a variety of soils throughout the northern hemisphere, including repetitive analyses of the soils used to establish the ratio cited above. Our data argue for a global 237 Np 239 Pu fallout ratio near 0.45 and a total 237Np production of ~1.5 tons.

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