Partitioning of uranium in contaminated bottom sediments: The meaning of fractionation

J Environ Radioact. 2021 Apr;229-230:106539. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2021.106539. Epub 2021 Jan 22.


Sequential extraction tests were used to study partitioning of U in the bottom sediments of two reservoirs that have been used for the temporary storage of nuclear waste at the "Mining and Chemical Combine" (Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk region, Russia). Various sequential extraction protocols were applied to the bottom sediment samples and the results compared with those obtained for laboratory-prepared simulated samples with different speciation and partitioning, e.g., U(VI) sorbed onto various inorganic minerals and organic matter, as well as uranium oxides. The distributions of uranium in fractions extracted from simulated and actual contaminated samples were compared to shed light on the speciation of U in the bottom sediments. X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy were also used to analyze the partitioning of U in contaminated sediments. We also compared the results obtained using the spectroscopic and microscopic techniques, as well as sequential extraction.

Keywords: Contaminated bottom sediments; Partitioning; Sequential extraction; Uranium.

MeSH terms

  • Geologic Sediments
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Russia
  • Uranium* / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Radioactive*


  • Water Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Uranium