Pollution Research Paper

Vol 39, Issue 4, 2020; Page No.(953-965)

EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF DIAMOND MINING ON THE RADIO-ECOLOGICAL STATE OF THE ARCTIC ZONE ECOSYSTEMS (EXAMPLE OF ARKHANGELSK REGION, RUSSIA)

EVGENY YAKOVLEV AND ALEXANDER MALOV

Abstract

The article was devoted to the study of the activity of natural and technogenic radionuclides in the environment components around the Lomonosov diamond deposit. This is the largest diamond mining and beneficiation complex in Europe. Samples of river sediments and surface waters were taken from the Zolotitsa River and its tributaries in the area of the diamond deposit. Samples of kimberlites and rocks were selected to assess the radioactivity parameters of the rocks extracted from the quarries. Radionuclide activity in bottom sediments and rocks was measured using lowbackground semiconductor gamma spectrometry with HPGe high-purity germanium detector, and isotopes 234U and 238U in bottom sediments while the waters were studied using alpha spectrometry. The influence of mining and beneficiation complex on the increase in radionuclides activity in bottom sediments of Zolotitsa River was found. The parameters of radiation safety of bottom sediments were calculated regarding the human health of the personnel of the mining and beneficiation complex and the mining camp. The values of radiation parameters were found to be, on average, below the global average, and therefore, radiation parameters do not pose a significant hazard to the personnel and public. Several patterns of radionuclide accumulation have been found depending on the physicochemical parameters of river sediments. These patterns are due to the technogenic influence of the mining and beneficiation complex.

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