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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2007, Article ID 68742, 5 pages
Project Report

Plutonium Isotopes Concentration in Seawater along the Algerian Coast

Laboratoire des Etudes d'Impact Radiologique, Centre de Recherche Nucléaire d’Alger, Commissariat à l' Energie Atomiqe, 02 Bd. F. Fanon, BP 399, Algiers-Gare, 16000 Algiers, Algeria

Received 12 March 2007; Accepted 26 October 2007

Academic Editor: Kevin Hesketh

Copyright © 2007 M. Benkrid and A. Noureddine. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The International Atomic Energy Agency has organised in the framework of the regional project RAF/7/004, in collaboration with “Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique” (COMENA) and “Institut des Sciences de la Mer et de l'Aménagement du Littoral” (ISMAL), during August 2001, a scientific campaign along the Algerian coast, on board of the research vessel M.S. Benyahia of ISMAL is. Three stations, at the centre, east and west, were selected to collect five seawater samples for each water column reaching a maximum depth of 2000 m, using a stainless-steel water sampler of a volume of 250 litres. After recording the marine environment parameters (temperature and conductivity), seawater samples were conditioned and preconcentrated to precipitate plutonium isotopes using MnCl2 in the form of MnO2 in order to proceed to plutonium extraction by radiochemical separation and prepare the source by coprecipitation using neodymium fluoride (NdF3) by vacuum filtration and an evaluation of the activity by alpha spectrometry. Concentration results in units of μBq/l of plutonium isotopes were obtained in the range of 6.7±1.00 to 25.5±3.70 for P239+240u and 0.21±0.04 to 0.77±0.15 for P238u. Distribution of Pu through the plot of its profile was studied and the concentration was estimated. The obtained results were compared toC137s and those found by other authors in the same Mediterranean area.