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Assessment of Uranium levels in rice and soils from the Ebro Delta (NE Spain)

By A. López-pancorbo, J. Bech, R. Fernández-sánchez and F. J. Tobías


The sources of uranium in agricultural soils can be divided into two main groups: those inherent to the soil-forming rocks and those produced by anthropic inputs (Alloway, 1995). The latter factor is of great interest in the Ebro basin because of the extensive use of phosphate fertilizers, that may contain significant amounts of U. Furthermore, the presence of old brown coal mines and a nuclear power plant located near the studied area could contribute to the increase of this radionuclide. Monitoring the uranium levels in these soils is necessary due to the importance of the delta as a rice producing area. The main objectives of this work were: (1) analyze the uranium content in the considered soils and in the rice grains harvested in those soils and (2) the establishment of some relationships between uranium levels in soils and edaphic properties. In order to achieve the mentioned above objectives, 57 soil samples belonging to 19 soil sites –taken at three depths: upper soil layer (0-5 cm), subsurface soil layer (5-20 cm) and bottom soil layer (20-40 cm)- and 19 rice samples (corresponding to each soil sample) were collected and analyzed. The uranium was extracted from soil (previously dried at room temperature an

Year: 2011
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