ASSESSMENT OF URANIUM IN THE GROUNDWATER ALONG NEENDAKARA-KAYAMKULAM BELT, SOUTHWEST COAST OF INDIAAnitha, J.K and Sabu Joseph
The Neendakara- Kayamkulam belt along the SW coast of India is renowned for the occurrence of monazite rich sand and experience high levels of natural background radiation. The monazite in which uranium and thorium are held in combination with phosphates and rare earths may yield 0.20 to 0.46% of U2O3 and 5 to 10.0% of ThO2. The weathering of monazite leads to the leaching of uranium into the interstitial groundwater in which it exists. Intake of water with high uranium content can lead to its accumulation in the organs like kidney and can be carcinogenic. The present study is to evaluate the levels of uranium in the groundwater sources along the Neendakara-Kayamkulam belt. The content ranges from 1.2 to 13.2 ppb, and is well within the maximum permissible limit of 60 ppb prescribed by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, India.
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