Organo-iodine formation in soils and aquifer sediments at ambient concentrations.
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One of the key risk drivers at radioactive waste disposal facilities is radioiodine, especially 129I. As iodine mobility varies greatly with iodine speciation, experiments with 129I-contaminated aquifer sediments from the Savannah River Site located in Aiken, SC, were carried out to test iodine interactions with soils and aquifer sediments. Using tracer 125I- and stable 127I- additions, it was shown that such interactions were highly dependent on I- concentrations added to sediment suspensions, contact time with the sediment, and organic carbon (OC) content, resulting in an empirical particle-water partition coefficient (Kd) that was an inverse power function of the added I- concentration. However, Kd values of organically bound 127I were 3 orders of magnitude higher than those determined after 1-2 weeks of tracer equilibration, approaching those of OC. Under ambient conditions, organo-iodine (OI) was a major fraction (67%) of the total iodine in the dissolved phase and by implication of the particulate phase. As the total concentration of amended I- increased, the fraction of detectable dissolved OI decreased. This trend, attributed to OC becoming the limiting factor in the aquifer sediment explains why at elevated I-concentrations OI is often not detected.
author list (cited authors)
Schwehr, K. A., Santschi, P. H., Kaplan, D. J., Yeager, C. M., & Brinkmeyer, R.