Radioecological characterization of a uranium mining site located in a semi-arid region in Brazil
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Environ. Radioact.
uranium mining; semi-arid region; natural radionuclides; ACID ROCK DRAINAGE; NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY; PLANT TRANSFER; SOIL; RA-226; AREA; TH-232; U-238; RADIONUCLIDES; GROUNDWATER; Environmental Sciences
The work presents the radioecological characterization of the new Brazilian uranium mining and milling site located in a semi-arid region of the country. The process characterization demonstrated that in heap leach plants most of the Ra-226 remains in the leached ore. Despite the potential higher availability of radium isotopes in the soils of the studied region the lack of precipitation in that area reduces the leaching/mobilization of the radionuclides. High Ra-226 and Ra-228 concentrations were found in manioc while Pb-210 was significant in pasture. It was suggested that a range from 10(-3) to 10(-1) may conveniently encompass most of the transfer factors (TF) values for soil/plant systems (i.e. involving different cultures, different soils and natural radionuclides). Impacts due to aerial transportation of aerosols and radon generated in the mining were proved to be minimal and restricted to an area not greater than 15 km(2). Finally, uranium complexation by carbonates was shown to be the main mechanism responding for the elevated radionuclide concentration in groundwater. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
"Radioecological characterization of a uranium mining site located in a semi-arid region in Brazil" (2006). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 6126.