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Determination DU in the Soil

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Determination DU in the Soil
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  JournalofAgriculturalSciencesVol.46,No 2 2001 Pages163-174 UDe: 546.791:631.438Originalscientificpaper DETERMINATIONOFURANIUMCONTENTSIN THE SOILSM.B.Rajkovic, Gordana Pantelic and Irena Petrovic   Abstract: Theusageofdepleteduraniummunitionswasonlyindirectlyforbidden byGeneralconventionwhichisagainstenvironmentalpollution)uptoitsmassapplicationinthelastdecadeofXXcentury Iraq,Bosnia,Yugoslavia).TheUnitedNationsareonthegoodwayofputtingthedepleteduraniumtothelistofforbiddenweapons.Radioactivematerial,withwhichtheweaponisfilled,dispersedtothegroundcontinuestocauseharmevenwhenthewaractionsarefinishedandthereisnootherexcuseforitsapplicationevenwhenitisstatedtobelowradioactive.Thedepleteduraniumisso-called invisiblethreat andtheconsequencesofcontamination,eitherincidentaloraccidental, thedisaster   thedisaster Forthesereasonsitsothername Silver hasbeenpushedintothebackground.Ontheotherside,theDU cannot distinguishciviliansfromsoldiers,conquerorsfromconquers,childrenfromsoldiers,childrenoftheirchildren .... andforthatitsnamehasbeenchangedto Deadly ullet Invisiblethreat continuestocause unexplainedillness topeoplewhohavebeenincontactwithit,deformitiesofnewbornebabiesandgenetichandicapsofthefuturegenerations,simply- totaloverkill Thepaperpresentsresultsofgamma-spectrometricmeasurementsinsamplesofsoilsgatheredduringandafterNATObombardmentin1999fromdifferentplacesofSerbia.Theaimofinvestigationwastoestablishapossiblesoilcontaminationbydepleteduranium.Resultshaveshownthatinallsoilsamples,   DrMilosB.Rajkovic,AssociateProfessor,InstituteofFoodTechnologyandBiochemistry,FacultyofAgriculture,11081Belgrade-Zemun,Nemanjina6,FRYugoslaviaGordanaPantelic,M.Sc.,SectionHeadofRadiologyandIrenaPetrovic,M.Sc.,ResearchAssociate,KCSInstituteofOccupationalandRadiologicalHealth  Dr DragomirKarajovic ,11000Belgrade,FRYugoslavia   6 M. B. Rajkovic,GordanaPantelicandIrenaPetrovic contentofradionuclideswaswithintheallowedlimitsandusuallevelofbothnaturalandartificialradionuclideshasbeenfound.Measurementssofardoshowthatpresenceofnaturalradionuclidesinthesampleofsoilandsediment(ratio 238U/235U wasnormal.Specificactivityofnaturalradionuclide  ~ 226Ra 238U 235Th inthosesampleshasbeenwithintheactivityintervalmeasuredinanaveragesoil,characteristicfortheterritoryofSerbia. Key words depleteduranium,environment,biologicalchainofnutrition,uranylion,radionuclide,NATObombing,soil.  ntrodu tion Soilisanimportantlinkinthechainofmatterandenergycyclinginthenature.Besideswaterandair,ithasbeenincreasinglyexposedlatelytovariouskindsofcontamination,especiallyafterair-strikesagainstYugoslaviaby NATO forcesduring78days  Rajko vic,2000).Consideringthatduringthebombingvariousmissileswereutilizedandaccordingtotheevidencethatammunitionwithdepleteduranium(DU)was used.. aninvestigationontheconsequencesofdepleteduraniumammunitionusestartedimmediatelyaftertheterminationofwaractionsandevenduringthem.Forthesereasons,theaimofthisworkwastoinvestigatewhetherthereoccurredacontaminationofsoilswithDUatvarioussitesinSerbia,asaresultofNATOair-strikes,bycomparingobtainedresultswithnaturalbackground,andalsotorecordalltheaspectsofDUammunitionapplication:frommilitary,overenvironmentalcontaminationandadverseeffectsonpopulation,totheaspectofecologicalright-rightofliving.  epletedUranium DepletedUranium(DU)isawasteproductoftheprocessemployedtoenrichnaturaluraniumtobeusedinnuclearreactorsandinnuclearweapons.DepletedUraniumisalowcostmaterialreadilyavailable.Byitsdefinition,DUisamixtureofisotopesuranium: 238U (99.8 ), 235U (0.2 ),  4 U(0.001 )and  3~h 234pa :?.3ITh and(probably)plutoniumintraces.DU shighdensity(19.05g/crrr ,1.7xmorethan11.35g/crrr forlead)anditshighatomicnumber(Z=92)provideusefulsolutionfory-radiationshielding.DUis Iowa-radiation emitter(totalspecificactivityofDUis39.42Bq/mg)anditcontributessignificantlytotheradiationdoseinthecaseofinternalcontamination  Rajkovic 2001a).  Uraniumcontentsinthesoils165 DU shighdensityandlowcostmakesitamaterialofchoiceforapplicationinthetipsofbullets caliberfrom20to155mm)withtheintentionofpiercingarmourplating.Itmayalsobeusedincruiesmissilenoseconesandisusedinthearmouryoftanks,andforaircraftcounterweights.Inthecaseofweapons,thismakesthemextremelyhardandabletopiercearmourplating. BalkansTaskForce BTF),1999).SchematicviewofaDUbulletcaliber120mm M829Al)isshowninFigure1.andDU swayacrossenvironmentinFigure2. Fig.1.-SchematicviewofaDUbulletcaliber120mm  M829Al ThealuminiumsabotofaDUbulletdropsoffwithinthefirst 100m ofthetrajectoryandthebareDUprojectilethenmoveswithvelocityfrom  fJ67 to].7km/sec.Kineticenergypenetratorsdonotexplodebuttheyfragmentintopiecesandfinedust.DuetothepyrophoricnatureofDUandtheextremeflashtemperaturesl200°C thankstorelativelylowmeltingpointofDU1.132°C)generatedonimpact especiallywithsteel)thedustinmanycasescatchesfireandburns so-called  ilverbullet formingparticlesofuraniumoxides diameter < 5 urn Figure2.)  Rajkovi c,2001b). Depleted Uranium Cycle and ContaminationofBiologicalChainofNutrition BecauseDUisthermochemicallyunstablerelativetomoreoxidizedformsofuraniumU IV)andU VI),itwillreacttoformoxideswhenincontactwiththeearth satmosphere.TheprimaryoxidationproductsarehyperstoichiometricU rV)  166 M.B.Rajkovic,GordanaPantelicandIrenaPetrovic oxidesoftheform U 2 + x, where O<x<O 4 FurtheroxidationtomixedU(IV)andU(VI)oxidesmayoccur  Ebinger etaI., 1990 . UraniumthatisleachedfromfragmentsanddustparticlesofDUwillbetransportedthroughthesoilorbedrockasuranylions-U022   inground(Figure3.).Underoxidizingconditions,mostofthedissolveduraniumionsareintheformofsolubleunaryionsthatcanmovethroughtheenvironmentandlivingorganisms.Underreducingconditions,mosturaniumissolidorinsoluble.   aerosolsofDUintheair   ground U unburnedDUbullets U fragmentsofburnedDUbulletsFig.2.-DU swayacrosstheenvironmentbeforeandafterstrikinginatarget ThepotentialforthemigrationofuraniumdependsonthechemistryoflocalsoilsandporewatersaswellasonoxidationproductsofDU.ThemobilityofdissolveduraniumproductswilldependontheEh,pHvalueandthepresenceofcomplexingligandsinlocalgroundwaters.UraniumU(VI)ismoremobilethanU(IV)becauseofaqueouscomplexationreactionsinvolvingligandscommonlyfoundinnaturalwaters.Carbonateandphosphateareconsideredthemostimportantofthese.Thetransportofdissolveduraniumcanalsobeeffectedbyattenuationreactionsthatreduceuraniumconcentrationingroundwaterandsurfacewaters.Thesereactionsofuraniumwiththesoilsincludeionexchangeandspecificadsorptionofuraniuminorganicmatter,clayminerals,andferricoxidesandoxyhydroxidescommonlypresentinsoil.DissolvedU(VI)existsinsolutionastheuranylion,andformscomplexeswith  W C 32-,   ro, , S04 2 andorganicligands.Theuranylionis

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