Atmospheric Dispersal of 129 Iodine from Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facilities
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129I/127I ratios measured in meteoric water and epiphytes from the continental United States are higher than those measured in coastal seawater or surface freshwater and suggest long-range atmospheric transport of 129I from the main source for the earth's surface inventory, viz., nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities. The median ratio for 14 meteoric water samples is 2100 x 10-12, corresponding to a 129I concentration of 2.5 x 107 atoms/L, whereas 9 epiphyte samples have a median ratio of 1800 x 10-12. Calculated deposition rates of 129I in the continental United States reveal that a small but significant fraction of the atmospheric releases from the nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities at Sellafield, England, and Cap de La Hague, France, is deposited after distribution by long-range transport. The inferred dominant mode of transport is easterly, within the troposphere, mainly in the form of the organic gas methyl iodide.
author list (cited authors)
Moran, J. E., Oktay, S., Santschi, P. H., & Schink, D. R.