Pollution Research Paper

Vol 38, Issue 1, 2019; Page No.(169-174)

STUDY OF LEACHING OF URANIUM FROM BEACH SAND TO WATER BODIES IN KERALA, INDIA

ARUNIMA S., LEKSHMI R., BEN BYJU S. AND JOJO P.J.

Abstract

India is one of the countries in the world having vast reserves of uranium. It occurs in many forms in different regions of Bihar, some parts of the Himalayas, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and in monazite sands along Kerala coast. Beach sands of the coastal territories of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India are very rich in monazite containing thorium and uranium. Uranium is a strategic substance occurs in the earthÂ’s crust, mainly in rocks, soil, rivers and ocean which has to be extracted from the raw material using complex hydrometallurgical processes involving many separation steps to be used in nuclear reactors. The procedure of uranium extraction is designed to fit specific characteristics of the ore. The industrial extraction process of uranium through leaching is done by reacting the raw ore material with acid or base following other preliminary treatments. There exists a natural circumstance where the raw uranium in surface soil is leached into the natural water bodies in a neutral, acidic or alkaline environment. In the present investigation, we have made an attempt to study the extent of leaching of surface soil-borne uranium into water in various pH conditions.

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