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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 170-182

Assessment of environmental radioactivity and groundwater quality around Tummalapalle uranium mining site, Andhra Pradesh, India

1 Homi Bhabha National Institute; Health Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Health Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Barendra Kumar Rana
Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai . 400 094, Maharashtra, India. Health Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai - 400 085, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/rpe.rpe_10_23

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A comprehensive background radiological status in the surrounding environment of the Tummalapalle U mining and processing facilities was evaluated. Radioactivity in soil and rock was estimated by high-resolution gamma spectroscopy with a high-purity p-type germanium detector. The external gamma radiation level, outdoor 222Rn concentration, radioactivity in the groundwater, and water quality parameters around the Tummalapalle site were studied. The terrestrial radioactivity in soil was higher than the national and global averages in the study region. Radium equivalent activity (Raeq) in soil and rock was much lower than the safe limit of 370 Bq/kg and therefore safe to use as a construction material. Hydrogeochemical analysis indicated that the groundwater in the study region is neutral to medium basic, oxic, fresh to brackish, and predominantly Ca2+-Mg2+-HCO3 (62.5%) type. The hydrogeochemistry of groundwater was primarily governed by rock-aquifer interaction in this region. The data generated in this study can serve as the baseline for this region to understand the change in environmental conditions, if any, due to prolonged anthropogenic activities.

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