[ RadSafe ] Pu in soil.

Conway, Ken C. kcconway at babcock.com
Thu Mar 31 07:14:22 CDT 2011

Wall Street Journal had results as 0.54 Bq/kg Pu 238 and 0.27 BQ /kg Pu
239 and 0.27 BQ /kg Pu 240. I agree these are low.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Derek Putley
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 3:21 AM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Pu in soil.

Stewart / All
UK RIFE report no. 15:-  
reports Pu levels of order 100 - 1000 Bq/kg in dry mud (Figure 2.15)
from mud samples taken at Ravenglas, i.e. close to the Sellafield
reprocessing plant. 
I've not studied the report in detail, but I think the data in the
report also indicates a relationship between these levels and permitted
activity levels in liquid effluent discharges into the sea from the
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 09:51:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stewart Farber <radproject at sbcglobal.net>
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Pu levels found in Japan? Info sought

I saw a Reuters story last night that states regarding Pu leves found
near the Fukushima plant, and I quote:

"The levels [Note of Pu-239 -SAF ], of up to 0.54 becquerels per kg,
were not considered harmful, Japanese officials said, a stance supported
by the U.N. 
atomic agency."

Does anyone have any other data on Pu measurements detected near the

If Pu measured is only 0.54Bq/kg in soil,  why is anyone getting
agitated? Why isn't the Japanese government being more emphatic about
emphasizing the levels found as being consistent with "background" Pu
from open air testing which was deposited globally on every sq. meter of
the Northern Hemisphere to levels of about 100 Bq/m^2?? 

By my calculation, 100 Bq/m^2 of Pu equates to 3.7 Bq/kg of soil
[assuming density 2.65 typically, and that Pu is bound in the first 1 cm
depth which is sampled by scraping the surface of soil to only a depth
of 1 cm].  If the Pu is bound in the first 10 cm depth of soil, and the
first 10 cm of soil depth is sampled, one would expect to find 0.4 Bq/kg
of soil from prior global Pu deposition. I'd appreciate folks checking
my math.

Stewart Farber, MSPH
Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
Best Regards

Derek Putley

Technical Area Lead (Criticality) 
Serco (Technical Services)
Thomson House, Risley, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 6GA, UK

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