- Conference date: 07–12 October 2007
- Location: Buzios, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
The uranium mining at Caetité (Uranium Concentrate Unit—URA) is in its operational phase. Aiming to estimate the radiological environmental impact of the URA, a monitoring program is underway. In order to preserve the biota of the deleterious effects from radiation and to act in a pro‐active way as expected from a licensing body, the present work aims to use an environmental protection methodology based on the calculation of absorbed dose rate in biota. Thus, selected target organism was the Tilapia fish (Tilapia nilotica, Linnaeus, 1758) and the radionuclides were: uranium (U‐238), thorium (Th‐232), radium (Ra‐226 and Ra‐228) and lead (Pb‐210). As, in Brazil there are no radiation exposure limits adopted for biota the value proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) of the United States of has been used. The derived absorbed dose rate calculated for Tilapia was that is less than 0.1% of the dose limit established by DOE. The critical radionuclide was Ra‐226, with 56% of the absorbed dose rate, followed by U‐238 with 34% and Th‐232 with 9%. This value of 0.1% of the limit allows to state that, in the operational conditions analyzed, natural radionuclides do not represent a radiological problem to biota.
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