Environmental impact of natural radionuclides from a coal-fired power plant in Spain. Radiat Prot Dosim

LIBRA Laboratory, University of Valladolid, Valladolid 47011 Spain.
Radiation Protection Dosimetry (Impact Factor: 0.91). 07/2012; 153(4). DOI: 10.1093/rpd/ncs126
Source: PubMed


This paper is a study of the radiological impact of a coal-fired power plant in Spain. Activity concentrations of six natural radionuclides were determined in coal, ash, mine wastes and sediments by gamma-ray spectrometry. The average activity concentrations of (238)U, (226)Ra,(224) Ra, (210)Pb, (232)Th and (40)K in coal were 24, 30, 28, 41, 23 and 242 Bq kg(-1) and in ash were 103, 128, 101, 124, 88 and 860 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The enrichment factor, radium equivalent activity and alpha index in the ash sample have been estimated. For the five waste pile samples, the absorbed dose rate was higher than the world average dose rate (60 nGy h(-1)). The dependence of radionuclide concentration on the grain size of nine sediments was also studied. The analysis of the radionuclides in waste and sediment samples will demonstrate the distribution and mobility of these elements through the environment, where a potential risk of contamination can be detected.

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    ABSTRACT: Coal-fired power-plants (CFPP) can be a source of contamination because the coal contains trace amounts of natural radionuclides, such as (40)K and (238)U, (232)Th and their decay products. These radionuclides can be released as fly ash from the CFPP and deposited from the atmosphere on the nearby top soils, therefore modifying the natural radioactivity background levels, and subsequently increasing the total radioactive dose received for the nearby population. In this paper, an area of 64 km(2) around the CFPP of Velilla del Río Carrión (Spain) has been studied by collecting 67 surface soil samples and measuring the activities of one artificial and six natural radionuclides by gamma spectrometry. The found results are similar to the background natural levels and ranged from 0 to 209 for (137)Cs, 11 to 50 for (238)U, 14 to 67 for (226)Ra, 29 to 380 for (210)Pb, 15 to 68 for (232)Th, 17 to 78 for (224)Ra, 97 to 790 for (40)K (all values in Bq kg(-1)). Besides the classical radiochemical tools, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Hierarchical Clustering Analysis (HCA), and kriging mapping have been used to the experimental dataset, allowing us to find the existence of two different models of spatial distribution around the CFPP. The first, followed by (238)U, (226)Ra, (232)Th, (224)Ra and (40)K can be assigned to 'natural background radioactivity', whereas the second model, followed by (210)Pb and (137)Cs, is based on 'atmospheric fallout radioactivity'. The main conclusion of this work is that CFPP has not influence on the radioactivity levels measured in the studied area, with has a mean annual outdoor effective dose E = 71 ± 22 μSv, very close to the average UNSCEAR value of 70 μSv, thus confirming the almost non-existent radioactive risk posed by the presence of the CFPP.
    Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 05/2013; 124C:84-92. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.04.011 · 2.48 Impact Factor

  • Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 11/2014; 137:125–129. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.06.021 · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the concentration of naturally occurring radioactive material particularly, uranium concentration in fly ash, samples were collected from Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda, Punjab, India and Suratgarh Super Thermal Power Station, Suratgarh, Rajasthan, India during 2010 to 2012. Samples were processed using ICP-MS (Inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry) with multi-element standards. A maximum and minimum concentration of uranium (4.99 and 0.63 was recorded in fly samples collected from SSTP, Suratgarh. Further, results were found to be very alarming and special action may be taken to prevent the exploration of uranium to the human being, live stocks and natural vegetations. However, this was a little attempt, and further study in this direction is recommended. Concentration of cesium was found in permissible level as data given by WHO but Uranium concentration is high in those area.
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