Carbon-13/Carbon-12 Isotope Fractionation of Organic Matter Associated with Uranium Ores Induced by Alpha Irradiation

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Science  27 Oct 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4366, pp. 430-432
DOI: 10.1126/science.202.4366.430


Analyses of stable carbon isotopes from two sample suites from sandstone uranium (tabular) ores show interesting variations. Organic carbon associated with high-grade uranium ore is heavy13C = –16.9 to –19.6 per mil, where δ13C = 13C/12C relative to the Pee Dee belemnite standard) relative to the adjacent lower-grade samples (–22.7 to –26.4 per mil). It is suggested that the heavy isotopic values for the are samples are related to a radiation and chemical isotope effect that has occurred mainly because of an alpha-radiation dose of 1011 rads.