Further Studies of Plutonium and Americium at Thule, Greenland

Asker Aarkrog, Henning Dahlgaard, Karen Kristina Nilsson, Elis Holm

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Eleven years after the accidental loss of nuclear weapons in 1968, the fourth scientific expedition to Thule occurred. The estimated inventory of 1 TBq 239,240Pu in the marine sediments was unchanged when compared with the estimate based on the 1974 data. Plutonium from the accident had moved further away from the impact point and at some locations the vertical distribution indicated a downward displacement of Pu in the sediment column since 1974. Seawater and seaplants showed no evidence of the presence of Pu from sources other than fallout; but Pu in benthos varied nearly proportionally with the levels in sediments. From the measurements of 239,240Pu in the Macoma community since 1970, the transfer factor to this community was estimated at 0.01 Bq a per Bq released to the sediments. The inventory of 241Am was 0.1 TBq. The vertical distribution of Am in sediments did not differ from that of Pu, but in benthos 241Am/239,240Pu were two times higher than in sediments. Seaplants showed the same value of Am/Pu as seawater. There was no indication of any biomagnification of Pu or Am through the marine food chains at Thule.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHealth Physics
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)29-44
    Publication statusPublished - 1984


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