Radionuclides in Soils at the Semipalatinsk Test Site 40 Years after Excavation Nuclear Explosions

E. V. Kvasnikova, S. K. Gordeev, and S. V. Konstantinov

Radionuclide composition of soils near craters produced by excavation explosions “1003” and “1004” in 1965 at the Semipalatinsk test site is characterized as of 2005. A conclusion is made that radionuclides 137Cs, 152Eu, 154Eu, 155Eu, 241Am, and 60Co do not penetrate deeper than the upper 2 cm of the chestnut solonetz-like soil. The patterns after the explosions studied can be traced over the terrain near the crater ejecta to present. Contamination levels rapidly decrease with the distance from the ground zero. It is demonstrated that technogenic soils in the region of nuclear tests in a dry-steppe zone can be a source of dust and secondary air contamination.

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