Effects of phosphorus fertilization on the availability and uptake of uranium and nutrients by plants grown on soil derived from uranium mining debris

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Subterranean clover and barley were grown on a soil derived from uranium mining debris and fertilized with phosphate as a U immobilizing additive for in situ remediation. We investigated the beneficial effect of P fertilization in the range 0–500 mg P kg−1 soil in terms of U extractability, plant biomass production and U uptake. Increasing P in the mining debris caused a significant decrease of the water-soluble U and NH4-Ac extractable U at pH 7 and 5. For both plant species, P fertilization considerably increased root and shoot dry matter up to a maximum observed for soil receiving 100 mg P kg−1 while the soil-to-plant transfer of U was regularly decreased by increasing P content in soil. These observations show that P fertilization represents an in situ practical option to facilitate the revegetation of U-mining heaps and to reduce the risks of biota exposure to U contamination.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-427
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2006


  • Uranium, Uptake, Remediation, Mining sites

ID: 207579