Chernobyl radionuclides in a Black Sea sediment trap. Academic Article uri icon


  • The Chernobyl nuclear power station accident released large quantities of vaporized radionuclides, and, to a lesser extent, mechanically released small (less than 1-10 micron) aerosol particles. The total release of radioactivity is estimated to be out of the order of 1-2 x 10(18) Bq (3-5 x 10(7) Ci) not allowing for releases of the xenon and krypton gases. The 137Cs releases of 3.8 x 10(16) Bq from Chernobyl can be compared to 1.3 x 10(18) Bq 137Cs released due to atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. Chernobyl-derived radionuclides can be used as transient tracers to study physical and biogeochemical processes. Initial measurements of fallout Chernobyl radionuclides from a time-series sediment trap at 1,071 m during June-September 1986 in the southern Black Sea are presented. The specific activities of 137Cs, 144Ce and 106Ru in the trap samples (0.5-2, 4-12 and 6-13 Bq g-1) are independent of the particle flux while their relative activities reflect their rates of scavenging in the order Ce greater than Ru greater than Cs.

publication date

  • October 29, 1987