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Schell W. R.; Watters, R. L.
Health Physics: October 1975
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A review has been made of the available information concerning plutonium in the aquatic environment. The levels are low and the data on the environmental concentrations in the lake and marine environment are very limited. Of particular relevance to biological accumulation processes is the physical-chemical state of plutonium. Limited information is available in natural environmental waters. Indications are that the plankton has the highest concentration factors and that the concentration factors decrease with increasing complexity of the organisms. Recent studies of plutonium in water, sediment and biota at Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls are given. The water samples measured indicate that plutonium exists in the particulate, soluble and colloidal physical-chemical states. The plutonium is being injected into the water column from the sediments and has not been removed from the biogeochemical cycle after 16 yr. Concentrations of plutonium in vertebrates and invertebrates measured at Eniwetok were low and ranged from 0.001 to 0.2 pCi/g wet in fish muscle. Additional data are required to better evaluate the potential hazards to man of plutonium in the aquatic environment.

©1975Health Physics Society