Journal of Nuclear Energy Science & Power Generation TechnologyISSN: 2325-9809

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Research Article, J Nucl Ene Sci Power Generat Technol Vol: 4 Issue: 2

Environmental Radioactivity in the Sabugal Region and Impact of Past Uranium Mining

Fernando P Carvalho*, João M Oliveira and Margarida Malta
Laboratory of Radiological Protection and Safety/IST (LPSR/STI), University of Lisbon, Bobadela LRS, Portugal
Corresponding author : Fernando P Carvalhoa
Laboratory of Radiological Protection and Safety/IST (LPSR/STI), University of Lisbon, National Road 10, km 139, 2695-066 Bobadela LRS, Portugal
Tel: +351219946332
E- mail: [email protected]
Received: February 27, 2015 Accepted: August 04, 2015 Published: August 07, 2015
Citation: Carvalho FP, Oliveira JM, Malta M (2015) Environmental Radioactivity in the Sabugal Region and Impact of Past Uranium Mining. J Nucl Ene Sci Power Generat Technol 4:2. doi:10.4172/2325-9809.1000135

Abstract

An environmental radioactivity survey carried out in the Sabugal region, Portugal, showed enhanced radioactivity levels in surface water streams related to water discharges from old uranium mines. Water from irrigation wells in this region displayed variable radionuclide levels due to natural occurrence of radionuclides and also to contamination by mine water drainage. Horticulture products grown near the uranium mine sites contained elevated radium (226Ra) concentrations but lower concentrations of uranium and other radionuclides. Despite relatively elevated radioactivity in irrigation water, the absorption and accumulation of radionuclides in plants was limited. Taking into consideration the volume of uranium waste piles, the improved management of mine waste and mine drainage is needed in order to prevent the increase of environmental radioactivity in the area.

Keywords: Polonium; Water radioactivity; Radioactivity in vegetables

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