Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Use of Mycorrhizal Fungi for the Phytostabilisation of Radiocontaminated Environments Protection - MYRRH, Executive Summary

Project ID: FIGE-CT-2000-00014
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C


Radionuclide pollution results from various activities such as mining and the provision of nuclear energy. Understanding the environmental redistribution of RN¿s is a prerequisite for the management and restoration of contaminated areas whether the pollution is diffuse (e.g. fallout radiocaesium in semi-natural ecosystems) or not (e.g. uranium in mining and milling sites). Because root uptake is one of the very first steps in RN dissemination, extensive research efforts have been devoted to the understanding of the mobility and bio-availability of radiocaesium and, to a lesser extent, to uranium.
Cs soil-to-plant-transfer patterns vary widely according to environmental conditions. In soils, trace Cs is retained specifically by sorption on a small number of highly selective sites associated with micaceous wedge zones born by vermiculitic minerals. Cs+ binding characteristic in soil can be readily quantified. The uptake of radiocaesium by plant roots is essentially governed by the amount of highly selective frayed edge sites and concentrations of Cs+, K+ and NH4 + ions in the soil solution. Concerning uranium, both pH and chemical status of the substrate largely control U solubility and the formation of various complexes. Plant roots can readily adsorb both anionic and cationic U species. U speciation is thus essential to understand U mobility in soil and soil-to-plant transfer.

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