Influence of Releases of I-129 From Reprocessing Plants on the Marine Environment of the North Adriatic Sea

Chemosphere. 2012 Mar;86(10):1020-7. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.11.044. Epub 2011 Dec 26.


Compared to the pre-nuclear era, large amounts of (129)I have been released to the marine environment, especially as liquid and gaseous discharges from two European reprocessing plants located at Sellafield and La Hague. Their liquid discharges influence Northern Europe and most research was conducted in the area of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. In this article data on (129)I content and (129)I/(127)I ratios observed in the North Adriatic Sea, which is a rather enclosed basin of the Mediterranean Sea, are presented. To the best of our knowledge no data on (129)I in the Mediterranean Sea have previously been reported. As this area is isolated from direct liquid discharges, the main transport pathway is probably gaseous releases from reprocessing plants. Surface sea water, the marine alga Fucus virsoides, an iodine accumulator, and the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis collected in 2009 and 2010, and marine sediment collected in 2005 and 2009 were analysed. The (129)I/(127)I isotopic ratios observed were in the range from 0.8 to 3.0×10(-08) for seawater, from 0.06 to 0.35×10(-08) for marine sediment, from 0.05 to 0.10×10(-08) for F. virsoides and from 0.3 to 0.9×10(-08) for M. galloprovincialis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Atmosphere / chemistry
  • Fucus / metabolism
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / analysis*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / metabolism
  • Mytilus / metabolism
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Radiation Monitoring
  • Seawater / chemistry
  • Slovenia
  • Water Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Radioactive / metabolism


  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Water Pollutants, Radioactive