Plutonium isotopes in marine sediments and some biota from the Sudanese coast of the Red Sea

Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2008;131(4):414-7. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncn193. Epub 2008 Jul 18.


Measurements of (239+240)Pu and (238)Pu were carried out on marine biota as well as on sediments from the fringing reefs area extending towards north and south (Flamingo Bay) of PortSudan harbour. The analyses were performed using radiochemical separation and alpha spectrometry. The range of the activity concentrations in marine sediments, in mBq kg(-1) dry weight, was found to be from 5.10 to 82.00 for (239+240)Pu and from 0.89 to 8.63 for (238)Pu. Corresponding activity concentrations of (239+240)Pu and (238)Pu in sediments from the harbours at PortSudan and Sawakin were 53-301 and 8.29-28.6 (PortSudan) and 163-343 and 4.7 (Sawakin), respectively. The higher values for plutonium in marine algae suggest their suitability as an indicator species for monitoring purposes. The results obtained are generally lower than those found by other studies and show that the Red Sea environment is mildly affected by plutonium contamination. Activity ratios of plutonium isotopes confirm that the existence of plutonium in the Red Sea is mainly due to atmospheric global fallout.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity*
  • Geologic Sediments / analysis*
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry*
  • Indian Ocean
  • Isotopes / analysis
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Plutonium / analysis*
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Radioactive Pollutants / analysis*
  • Sudan


  • Isotopes
  • Radioactive Pollutants
  • Plutonium