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Environmental Geosciences, V.
Plant availability of uranium in contaminated soil from Crucea Mine (Romania)
1University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Department of Mineralogy, 1 N. Balcescu Ave., 70111 Bucharest, Romania; email: [email protected]
2Ecole Nationale Suprieure des Mines, Dpartement Gochimie et Procdes de l'Environnement, 158 Cours Fauriel, 42023 Saint Etienne, France; email: [email protected]
Lucian Petrescu is an assistant professor of geochemistry in the Department of Mineralogy at Bucharest University. He received his M.Sc. degree (1999) and his Ph.D. (2003) from Bucharest University.
Essad Bilal is a professor of geochemistry and the head of the Chemistry Department in Ecole Nationale Suprieure des Mines de Saint Etienne. He was conferred the honorary degree Docteur Honoris Causa de l'Universit de Bucarest in Romania in 2000. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, Society of Geology of France, and the Geology Brazilian Society among other.
The study was funded by the RhoneAlpes Region (France)Trans european mobility program Rhne-Alpes: grants for mobility (TEMPRA) Project 00825042 and is part of the first author's Ph.D. thesis at the University of Bucharest (Romania), under the supervision of Gh. C. Popescu (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics) and Essaid Bilal (Ecole Nationale Suprieure des Mines, Saint Etienne, France).
The inorganic chemical components were determined at Dpartement Gochimie et Procdes de l'Environnement of the Ecole Nationale Suprieure des Mines, Saint Etienne, France. We thank Geoffrey Lespagnol, Jacques Moutte, and Jean-Jacques Gruffat for technical assistance. Thanks are due to Marian Lupulescu (U.S. Geological Survey) and Gheorghe Ilinca (University of Bucharest) for reading the manuscript and for many helpful suggestions.
A study of uranium distribution in soils and plants was conducted over the Crucea area (northern Romania). The elements most susceptible to HNO3 extraction (more than 65%) are cobalt, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc; less extractable are elements such as barium, chromium, strontium, and vanadium. Uranium and thorium show a relatively high percentage of extraction, e.g., 50.7 and 55.7%, respectively. Generally, high correlation coefficients exist between total and partial extractions. The highest correlation coefficients (r 0.90) are for uranium, cobalt, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc. Analyses of the forest vegetation indicated that, in general, uranium is preferentially concentrated in the roots, followed by the twigs and leaves. Higher values of uranium content in plant samples from Crucea ore deposit area may be correlated with higher uranium contents in the soil and rock samples from this area. The study indicates that fir Abies alba has higher uptake of uranium than any other vegetation species present in this area.
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