Radionuclide enrichment near coal processing in Southern Brazil.
This work highlights environmental radionuclide enrichment as a result of coal mining activity, including disbursement related to the coal processing in southern Brazil. Soil cores collected near the coal mining area showed 238U, 226Ra and 210Pb activities approximately 2 times greater than the background values. The highest activities were found at the surface and decrease downcore, indicating recent enrichment. Furthermore, atmospheric analyses of particulate matter indicated radionuclide enrichment up to 352 and 463 μBq m–3 of 226Ra and 210Pb, respectively, at the sites nearest to the coal-fired power plant. The atmospheric particulate material showed 210Pb/226Ra ratios similar to the fly ash near the coal-fired power plant, suggesting an enhanced source of 222Rn to the atmosphere likely associated with the power plant. However, no risk to the population near the coal processing was found, as noted by the total air absorbed γ-ray dose rate in the topsoil samples, 74 ± 19 nGy h–1, statistically similar to the background radioactivity (60 nGy h–1).
Campaner, V.P., Luiz-Silva, W., Smoak, J.M. & Sanders, C.J. (2018). Radionuclide enrichment near coal processing in Southern Brazil. Radiochemistry, 60, 215-220. doi: 0.1134/S1066362218020133
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