127I and 129I species in the English Channel and its adjacent areas: Uncovering impact on the isotopes marine pathways

Peng He, Hongying Pang, Zheng Yang, Sihong Li, Yi Huang, Xiaolin Hou, Göran Possnert, Xuefeng Zheng, Xiangjun Pei, Ala Aldahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Radioactive iodine-129 has been released from the La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility (NRF) into the English Channel, but the distribution and transformation of the isotope species, and environmental consequences have not been fully characterized in the Channel. Here we present data on iodine isotopes (129I and 127I) species in surface water of the English Channel and the southern Celtic Sea. Compared to 127I species, the concentrations of 129I and 129IO3 show more variations, but iodate is the major species for both 129I and 127I. Our data provide new information regarding iodide-iodate inter-conversion showing that water dilution and mixing are the main factors affecting the 127I and 129I species distribution in the Channel. Some reduction of iodate occurs within the English Channel and mainly in the west part because of biotic processes. The 129I species transformation is overall insignificant, especially in the eastern Channel, where a constant value of 129IO3/129I is observed, which might characterize the La Hague wastewater signal. In the Celtic Sea, oxidation of iodide can be traced by 127I and 129I species. On a larger scale, 129I generally experienced an oxidation process in the Atlantic Ocean, while in the coast of shallow shelf seas, new produced 129I can be identified, especially in the German Bight and the Baltic Sea. The data of 129I species in the English Channel can provide estimate of redox rates in a much broader marine areas if the transit time of 129I from La Hague is well-defined. Furthermore, estimate of inventories for 129I and its species in the Channel, and fluxes of 129I species from the English Channel to the North Sea add important information to the geochemical cycle of 129I.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119178
JournalWater Research
Volume225
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2022

Keywords

  • English Channel
  • I
  • Iodine isotopes
  • Iodine species
  • Seawater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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