Transfer of natural radionuclides from soil to plants in Savar Dhaka


The radioactivity of environmental samples from nuclear reactor sites must be analyzed before the public is given free access to the plants grown in these soils. Plant and corresponding soil samples were collected from a sample site around the Savar research reactor near Dhaka (Bangladesh) and the activity concentrations of natural radionuclides 226Ra (238U-chain), 228Ra (232Th-chain) and non-chained 40K were measured using gamma ray spectrometry. Soils of Savar contained more radioactive 40K than 226Ra and 228Ra. The influence of certain soil properties on the activity concentrations and transfer factors (TF) of natural radionuclides were investigated by correlating the observed data with those of soil properties. The activity concentrations of 40K were much higher than those of 226Ra and 228Ra in plants due to higher uptake from soils. The transfer factors for 226Ra, 228Ra and 40K were found to range from 0.04 to 0.10, 0.12 to 0.32, and 0.24 to 0.72, respectively. The soil to plant transfer factors for 40K was found to be much higher in plants, which might be due to this element being vital in plants. This study showed that activity concentrations of these radionuclides in plants and their plant transfer factors seem to depend on the activity concentrations of the same radionuclides in soil.


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