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High absorption efficiency for ingested plutonium in crabs

Naturevolume 266pages827828 (1977) | Download Citation



ALTHOUGH marine organisms have been strongly implicated in the biogeochemical cycle of plutonium, there is disagreement as to whether they can assimilate it efficiently1–7. We have examined the fate of plutonium in a single, worm-crab food chain after ingestion of the isotope which had been metabolically incorporated into the predator's food. Contrary to absorption efficiencies of tenths to hundredths of 1 % derived from studies with vertebrates8–10, our results show that relatively large fractions of plutonium are readily absorbed from ingested food and incorporated into the predator's tissues.

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  1. International Laboratory of Marine Radioactivity, Musée Océanographique, Monaco



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