Plutonium in the Marine Environment

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Physics

Document 1

This is evidenced by a container ship bearing a very high radioactive cesium which was split by a storm in Atlantic Ocean. The front section was pulled down together with the packages of cesium. It was later acknowledged by the French regulatory authorities that the containers of cesium would rupture at the depth of three thousand meters. The SRS Watch states that two ships from Britain reached Japan to load a shipment of plutonium enough to manufacture a lot of atomic bombs for the United States (Kudo, p. Plutonium and Marine Environment This was under bilateral agreements. The shipment which is latest precedes a summit of nuclear security in Washington. it is taken to be a step to show off in these countries.

Sign up to view the full document!

Washington has often raised concerns focusing on the plans of the nuclear spent-fuel-reprocessing by Japan and China to liberate energy out of plutonium. South Korea has also wanted to gain this technology considering them to be posing security risks. The French state-owned company Areva in conjunction with Japan started building a major reprocessing plant. Plutonium changes into a yellow tarnish when oxidized slightly. it is reactive chemically. it feels warm to touch a relatively large piece of plutonium due to the energy given out in alpha decay. bigger particles generate heat that can boil some amount of water. it dissolves readily in concentrated hydrochloric acid and perchloric acid. Since plutonium is found in very small amounts naturally in the uranium ores, human beings produce the rest of the present plutonium in nuclear reactors that are special.

Sign up to view the full document!

Plutonium can also find its way into the environment through weapons production plants, research facilities and nuclear reactors. Nuclear weapons testing releases huge amounts of plutonium to the environment. Plutonium is the most dangerous substance to human beings. Although the alpha radiation it produces can’t penetrate through the skin, when it is ingested can irradiate internal organs. Soil contamination with plutonium can occur during the testing of nuclear weapons. Low levels of plutonium are absorbed by plants although the levels are too high to result into bio-magnification of plutonium in the food chain or it accumulating in the bodies of animals (Gamson, p. Plutonium can be put into association with particles, colloids, pseudo colloids and this depends on the source and the environmental conditions.

Sign up to view the full document!

Plutonium in water is influenced by several geochemical processes such as hydrolysis, complexation and solubilisation. Microbial processes can have a noticeable impact which is a long time and the mobility of plutonium. Plutonium has a major advantage as tracers of the processes of marine. Its contamination is attributed to the global fallout. Plutonium isotopes as used as indicators for biochemical processes in the column of water. Plutonium is normally transported in seawater through advection, particle scavenging and through diffusion. Research indicates that the concentration profile depths show noticeable subsurface maximum. Conclusion The transport and distribution of a particulate substance in riverine inputs to the waters along the coast are estimated by the use of plutonium. In conclusion, the total input of plutonium has gone down noticeably in the past three to four decades as a result of the cessation of atmospheric weapon test but due to the long half-life and the chemical features of plutonium, it is predicted to persist in the marine environment for a long time period.

Sign up to view the full document!

From $10 to earn access

Only on Studyloop

Original template