Dutton, M.V. and Humphreys, Paul (2005) Assessing the potential of short rotation coppice (SRC) for cleanup of radionuclide contaminated sites. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 7 (4). pp. 279-293. ISSN 1549-7879

A small-scale greenhouse investigation was undertaken using Goat willow (Salix caprea) and aspen (Populus tremula) to evaluate the potential of short rotation coppice for remediation of 137Cs-and 90Sr-contaminated sites. Results showed that both species were able to accumulate these radionuclides from a representative disposal soil (aged) and a spiked soil S. caprea accumulating greater levels of 137Cs than P. tremula, with no difference between species for 90Sr accumulation. For each radionuclide, the distribution in both species was similar, with 137Cs accumulation greatest in the roots, whereas 90Sr accumulation was greatest in the leaves. It was also evident that the soil-to-plant transfer factor (Tf) values for 90Sr were greater than for 137Cs, agreeing with differences in the reported bioavailability of these radionuclides in soil. Based on the Tf values for S. caprea (conservative), estimated remediation times were 92 and 56 yr, for 137Cs and 90Sr, respectively. It is suggested that the selection of Salix species grown in a system of SRC provides a significant opportunity for removal of both 137Cs and 90Sr, primarily due to its higher biomass production. However, for 137Cs phytoremediation investigations into the appropriate use of soil amendments for increasing bioavailability are required

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