Distribution and Bioaccumulation of Uranium and Thorium in Natural Soil and Wild Plants of Wadi El-Missikat, Central Eastern Desert, Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


Geochemical Exploration Department, Nuclear Materials Authority (NMA), cairo, Egypt.


Uranium and thorium concentrations were determined in soil and wild plant samples collected from Wadi El Missikat, Central Eastern Desert, Egypt. The U and Th contents are similar to those in Gebel Qattar soil (North Eastern Desert, Egypt) but higher than their corresponding levels in the Earth’s crust. The results obtained indicate that the Fagonia boveana plant uptakes and accumulates both elements but uptakes of Th is higher than for U. Fagonia sp. can absorb and accumulate uranium element with 150 times more than the average of world plant uptake. The Zilla spinosa plant was also found to be hyper-accumulator for U and Th and can absorb and accumulate uranium with 48 times more than the average world plant Analyses of the studied plants show that they are considered as hyper-accumulators for uranium and thorium and could be used as candidates for exploration for these elements and phytoremediation of radionuclide-contaminated soils.