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By Rachel Ruth Comroe

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XH2O. Actinides and fission products including Np, Pu, Am, Cm, Ru, Rh, Pd, Te, Y, Nb, Tc, Bi, Th, rare earth elements and Zr have mainly been retained within the uraninite structure. Exceptions include the noble gases Xe and Kr, together with I, Br, Cd, Rb, Cs, Sr, Ba, Te, Pb, Mo, Sn and Ag. , 2003). , 2004). Aluminium phosphate mineral phases containing Zr, Ce, Nd and Sm nuclides have also been discovered. In addition, chlorite and calcite minerals have been detected in the clays associated with some of the reactors.

There is no scientific evidence of risk (for example, of developing cancers) at doses below 50 mSv in the short term or 100 mSv per year in the longer term. 5 Pie chart illustrating composition of background radiation. uk. With kind permission from Keith Gibbs. schoolphysics. ] However, it is known that a short term dose of >1000 mSv is sufficient to cause immediate radiation sickness, whilst a dose of 10 000 mSv would normally result in death within a few weeks. Notably, there are many examples worldwide of where relatively high natural background radiation levels (>50 mSv year−1) have not apparently caused significant health related problems.

Notably, there are many examples worldwide of where relatively high natural background radiation levels (>50 mSv year−1) have not apparently caused significant health related problems. For example, the Morro do Ferro region in Brazil, Ramsar in Iran, and Kerala and Madras in India (Hart, 2005). 6, also known as the ‘Mount of Iron’, is situated 34 km from the town of Oliveira, with an estimated 30 000 t of Th near the summit, this giving rise to a high background radiation level, whilst in Ramsar, a city in northern Iran near the Caspian Sea, a dose of 260 mSv year−1 has been estimated.

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