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Bondar Y.I.,Polessie State Radiation Ecological Reserve PSRER | Nenashev R.A.,Polessie State Radiation Ecological Reserve PSRER | Kalinichenko S.A.,Polessie State Radiation Ecological Reserve PSRER | Marchenko Y.D.,Polessie State Radiation Ecological Reserve PSRER | And 9 more authors.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2015

The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) resulted in the radioactive contamination of vast regions of Belarus including waterbodies of various types found within the watershed of the Pripyat River. The purpose of the work reported upon here was to conduct a comparative analysis of the distribution, form, and behavior of contaminant radionuclides (137Cs, 90Sr, 241Am) within components of two aqueous ecosystems of different origins found within the territory of the Belarusian part of the Chernobyl exclusion zone: a natural floodplain pond and a flooded area covering former agricultural lands. Despite the contamination densities being practically the same for the catchment areas of the two waterbodies studied, differences were observed in the levels of radionuclides in various components of the two ecosystems and in their behavior with respect to sediments of the waterbodies. Assessment of the surface runoff of radionuclides from the catchment areas as an input to the waterbodies indicates that ingress of 137Cs, 90Sr, and 241Am into the floodplain pond exceeds that for the flooded wetland. Results indicate that this input is most relevant for waterbodies of small area and that the input of 90Sr is most intensive. However, additional inputs of 137Cs and 90Sr into the waterbodies do not lead to substantial secondary contamination as the rate of decrease in concentration of these radionuclides due to physical decay is greater than the rates of input by this mechanism. There is however the possibility of accumulation of long-lived transuranic radionuclides due to runoff inputs. © 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Source

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