Cesium, americium and plutonium isotopes in ground level air of Vilnius
Systematic observations of radionuclide composition and concentration in the atmosphere have been carried out at the Institute of Physics in Vilnius since 1963. Increases in activity concentration of radionuclides in the atmosphere were observed after nuclear weapon tests and the Chernobyl NPP accident. At present the radiation situation in Lithuania is determined by two main sources of radionuclides, forest fire and resuspension products transferred from highly polluted region of the Ukraine and Belarus. The activity concentrations of 137Cs were measured in two to three days samples while plutonium and americium in monthly samples. The extremely high activity concentrations of 238Pu, 239,240Pu, 241Am determined in the atmosphere during the Chernobyl accident can be explained by transport of “hot particles” of different composition. Activity concentration in 1995–2003 of 241Am and 239,240Pu isotopes ranged from 0.3 to 500 and from 1 to 500 nBq/m3, respectively. 238Pu/239,240Pu activity ratio in measured samples differs from 0.03 to 0.45. A decrease in 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratio from 0.30 to 0.19 was observed in 1995–2003.
KeywordsRadionuclide Plutonium Activity Concentration Forest Fire Americium
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