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$^{240}$Pu/$^{239}$Pu signatures allow refining the chronology of radionuclide fallout in South America

Abstract : Atmospheric nuclear tests (1945-1980) have led to radioactive fallout across the globe. French tests in Polynesia (1966-1974) may influence the signature of fallout in South America in addition to those conducted by USA and former USSR until 1963 in the Northern hemisphere. Here, we compiled the $^{240}$Pu/$^{239}$Pu atom ratios reported for soils of South America and conducted additional measurements to examine their latitudinal distributions across this continent. Significantly lower ratio values were found in the 20-45° latitudinal band (0.04 to 0.13) compared to the rest of the continent (up to 0.20) and attributed to the contribution of the French atmospheric tests to the ultra-trace plutonium levels found in these soils. Based on sediment cores collected in lakes of Chile and Uruguay, we show the added value of measuring $^{240}$Pu/$^{239}$Pu atom ratios to refine the age models of environmental archives in this region of the world.
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https://hal-cea.archives-ouvertes.fr/cea-03712024
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Submitted on : Saturday, July 2, 2022 - 1:22:11 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 30, 2022 - 9:44:08 AM

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Pierre-Alexis Chaboche, Fabien Pointurier, Pierre Sabatier, Anthony Foucher, Tales Tiecher, et al.. $^{240}$Pu/$^{239}$Pu signatures allow refining the chronology of radionuclide fallout in South America. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2022, 843, pp.156943. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156943⟩. ⟨cea-03712024⟩

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