Energy and Environment

NORM in the extraction industry. Challenges and opportunities

Michalik, B. , Sidhu, R.S.
International Conference on Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity, Hamilton, Ontario, 2011-06-19--06-24. Radioprotection. - Vol. 46, no. 6 (2011), S675-S680
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One of the most serious problems occurring during coal extraction in Upper Silesia in Poland is caused by waters with high salinity which also often contain high concentrations of natural radionuclides, mainly 226Ra and 228Ra. Similar phenomenon is also observed in oil and gas industry. On the Norwegian continental shelf, substantial amounts of produced waters containing elevated levels of 226Ra and 228Ra are discharged to the sea. All of these facts outlined elsewhere in the reports serious resulted in contamination of wide areas surrounding mines and other related industries. Research studies conducted so far have provided a lot of data concerning the scale of this phenomenon. But nowadays, all of them should be reconsidered in the light of newest recommendation of the state of-the-art radiation protection. Namely, such waste deposited directly into the environment creates significant risk to the non-human biota that currently must be assessed as well. On the other hand, such scenario of exposure to ionising radiation creates a good opportunity to observe potential effects of low and protracted doses to the living organisms occurring on contaminated areas, especially plants.
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