Starting from 1952 C.E. more than 540 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests (NWT) were conducted in different locations of the Earth. This lead to the injection of about 2.8 t of 239Pu in the environment, roughly corresponding to a total 239Pu radioactivity of 6.5 PBq. A semiquantitative ICP-MS method was used to measure this isotope in an ice core drilled in Dome C (East Antarctica). The age scale for the ice core studied in this work was built by searching for well-known volcanic signatures and synchronising these sulfate spikes with established ice core chronologies. The reconstructed plutonium deposition history was compared with previously published NWT records, pointing out an overall agreement. The geographical location of the tests was found to be an important parameter strongly affecting the concentration of 239Pu on the Antarctic ice sheet. Despite the low yield of the tests conducted in the 1970s, we highlight their important role in the deposition of radioactivity in Antarctica due to the relative closeness of the testing sites.

The 239Pu nuclear fallout as recorded in an Antarctic ice core drilled at Dome C (East Antarctica) / Severi M.; Becagli S.; Caiazzo L.; Nardin R.; Toccafondi A.; Traversi R.. - In: CHEMOSPHERE. - ISSN 0045-6535. - ELETTRONICO. - 329:(2023), pp. 138674.0-138674.0. [10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138674]

The 239Pu nuclear fallout as recorded in an Antarctic ice core drilled at Dome C (East Antarctica)

Severi M.
;
Becagli S.;Caiazzo L.;Nardin R.;Traversi R.
2023

Abstract

Starting from 1952 C.E. more than 540 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests (NWT) were conducted in different locations of the Earth. This lead to the injection of about 2.8 t of 239Pu in the environment, roughly corresponding to a total 239Pu radioactivity of 6.5 PBq. A semiquantitative ICP-MS method was used to measure this isotope in an ice core drilled in Dome C (East Antarctica). The age scale for the ice core studied in this work was built by searching for well-known volcanic signatures and synchronising these sulfate spikes with established ice core chronologies. The reconstructed plutonium deposition history was compared with previously published NWT records, pointing out an overall agreement. The geographical location of the tests was found to be an important parameter strongly affecting the concentration of 239Pu on the Antarctic ice sheet. Despite the low yield of the tests conducted in the 1970s, we highlight their important role in the deposition of radioactivity in Antarctica due to the relative closeness of the testing sites.
2023
329
0
0
Severi M.; Becagli S.; Caiazzo L.; Nardin R.; Toccafondi A.; Traversi R.
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1309500
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