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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-10

Dose assessment to public due to exposure to natural radioactivity at the Bibiani gold mine

1 School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, Atomic-Campus;, Accra, Ghana; Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Kampala, Uganda
2 School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, Atomic-Campus; Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, LG 80, Legon, Accra, Ghana
3 School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of , Atomic-Campus, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Alex Twesigye
Ministery of Energy and Mineral Development, P.O Box 7270, Kampala, Uganda

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Source of Support: Nil., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-0464.162818

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Studies have been carried out to assess exposure of the public due to natural radioactivity associated with soil, tailing and water at the Bibiani gold mine in Ghana. Concentrations of radionuclides in samples were determined by γ-ray spectrometry using high purity germanium detector. Gross-α and gross-β activity concentrations were also determined for the water samples using a low background gas-less automatic α/β counter. The mean activity concentrations of 238U, 232Th and 40K in soil/tailing samples were 16.1 ± 3.6, 16.6 ± 6.0 and 380 ± 15 bq/kg, respectively. The mean activity concentrations in water samples were 0.20 ± 0.04, 0.38 ± 0.03 and 3.05 ± 0.11 Bq/L for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K respectively. The total annual effective dose to the public was estimated to be 0.125 mSv. The radium equivalent activity, internal hazard index, and external hazard index for all soil/tailing samples are lower than the accepted safety limit value of 370 Bq/kg and 1.0 respectively. The gross-α and gross-β activity concentrations for the water samples were below the World Health Organisation recommended guideline values for drinking water quality. The results indicate an insignificant radiation exposure to the public.

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