Distribution of natural and artificial radionuclides in chernozem soil/crop system from stationary experiments

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Sep;23(17):17761-73. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6938-0. Epub 2016 Jun 1.


The present paper focuses on the determination of radiological characteristics of cultivated chernozem soil and crops from long-term field experiments, taking into account the importance of distribution and transfer of radionuclides in the soil-plant system, especially in agricultural cropland. The investigation was performed on the experimental fields where maize, winter wheat, and rapeseed were cultivated. Analysis of radioactivity included determination of the gross alpha and beta activity as a screening method, as well as the activities of the following radionuclides: natural ((210)Pb, (235)U, (238)U, (226)Ra, (232)Th, (40)K, (7)Be) and artificial ((90)Sr and (137)Cs). The activities of natural and artificial ((137)Cs) radionuclides were determined by gamma spectrometry, while the artificial radionuclide (90)Sr was determined by a radiochemical analytical method. Based on the obtained results for the specific activity of (40)K, (137)Cs, and (90)Sr, accumulation factors for these radionuclides were calculated in order to estimate transfer of radionuclides from soil to crops. The results of performed analyses showed that there is no increase of radioactivity that could endanger the food production through the grown crops.

Keywords: Chernozem soil; Long-term experiment; Plant; Radionuclides.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Background Radiation
  • Cesium Radioisotopes / analysis
  • Crops, Agricultural
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Radioactivity
  • Radioisotopes / analysis
  • Soil / chemistry
  • Soil Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Gamma
  • Triticum


  • Cesium Radioisotopes
  • Radioisotopes
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants, Radioactive