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

Gervais Rufyikiri, Yves Thiry, Jean Wannijn, Lian Wang, Hans Vanmarcke

    Research outputpeer-review


    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
    StatePublished - 6 Apr 2006

    Cite this