Compliance with quality standards for the content of 137Cs in potatoes grown on chernozems of the Plavsky radioactive spot

UDC 581.5:539.163:581.4:631.45

Komissarova O.L., Derbenskii V.I., Kasatskii A.A., Paramonova T.A.

After the Chernobyl accident, one of the most contaminated with radionuclides (primarily 137Cs) areas of chernozems was formed in the Plavsky district of the Tula region within the semi-arid forest-steppe zone of the Central Russian Upland. The purpose of the study: to identify the current level of soil contamination of the Plavsky radioactive spot and to determine compliance with the quality standards of potatoes cultivated in this area, according to the content of 137Cs. The research was carried out in the central part of the Plavsky district of the Tula region. The work was carried out from 2014 to 2022, taking into account changes in the structure of the acreage of the farm. Sampling for this study was carried out in 2017–2018. The immediate objects of research were the soils of the surveyed territory and potato plants. Sampling was carried out at the end of August during the period of full ripeness. At the site, monoliths of undisturbed soils were sampled using a PG-450 annular sampler, from an area of 300 cm2, in layers in increments of 10 cm to a depth of 30 cm in triple repetition with a distance between points of 15–20 m. The aboveground part of the vegetation was selected by the method of continuous mowing from an area of 2500 cm2. Sampling of the underground part of the vegetation of the studied sites was carried out from the same area and up to a depth of 30 cm. The density of radioactive contamination of 137Cs soils in the profile of chernozems (kBq/m2) was calculated taking into account the specific activity of the radionuclide, the thickness of the soil layer and the density of addition (taking into account the fixed area of the sampler). 30 years after the Chernobyl accident, the chernozems of the Plavsky radioactive spot are still contaminated with technogenic 137Cs with a significant excess of permissible levels of its accumulation in the soil. However, the transfer of 137Cs from chernozems to potato tubers and other crop components is not intensive, and the current levels of radionuclide accumulation in tubers are significantly lower than the stated requirements for sanitary and hygienic safety of human food.

Key words: cesium-137, potatoes, tubers, radioactive contamination, accumulation in products, black soils, quality standards

Komissarova O.L., post-graduate student of the Department of Radioecology and Ecotoxicology of LMSU

Derbenskii V.I., Cand. Sci. (Agr.), executive director of ANRSK. E-mail:

Kasatskii A.A. (author for correspondence), Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Member of the Attestation Commission of the Faculty of Soil Science of Lomonosov Moscow State University (LMSU). E-mail:

Paramonova T.A., Senior Lecturer of the Department of Radioecology and Ecotoxicology of LMSU

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For citing: Compliance with quality standards for the content of 137Cs in potatoes grown on chernozems of the Plavsky radioactive spot. O.L. Komissarova, V.I. Derbenskii, A.A. Kasatskii, T.A. Paramonova. Potato and vegetables. 2023. No2. Pp. 28–31. (In Russ.).

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