Atmospheric dispersal of (129)iodine from nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Moran, J. E., Oktay, S., Santschi, P. H., & Schink, D. R.

citation count

  • 159

complete list of authors

  • Moran, JE||Oktay, S||Santschi, PH||Schink, DR

publication date

  • August 1999