Isotopic Disequilibrium of Uranium: Alpha-Recoil Damage and Preferential Solution Effects

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Science  29 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4434, pp. 979-981
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4434.979


Preferential loss of uranium-234 relative to uranium-238 from rocks into solutions has long been attributed to recoiling alpha-emitting nuclei. Direct evidence has been obtained for two mechanisms, first, recoil ejection from grains, and now release by natural etching of alpha-recoil tracks. The observations have implications for radon emanation and for the storage of alpha-emitting radioactive waste.