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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 109-114

Concentration and activity ratio of thorium isotopes in surface soil around proposed uranium mining site in India

1 Department of Atomic Energy, Health Physics Unit, NFC, Health Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Health Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
S K Srivastava
Health Physics Unit, NFC, Health Physics Division, BARC, PO. ECIL, Hyderabad 500 062, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-0464.137474

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Unconformity type of uranium deposits at Lambapur and Peddagattu located in Nalgonda District of Andhra Pradesh, India has been reported. Soil surveillance for isotopic thorium belonging to two different radioactive decay chains provide information on characterization of soil formation due to weathering of underlying host rocks. Thorium concentration and their isotopic activity ratio in localized soil samples were assessed. Thorium concentration and 230 Th/ 232 Th activity ratio were observed to be in the range of 15 ± 3 mg/kg to 132 ± 15 mg/kg and 0.21 ± 0.07-0.68 ± 0.05, respectively. A significant wide variation in thorium concentration and that of activity ratio for localized area soil indicates the soil development due to a different type of underlying host rocks. Activity ratio of 228 Th/ 232 Th in the soil samples of the study area are observed to vary from 0.87 ± 0.05 to 1.07 ± 0.15 with a mean of 0.96 ± 0.02, indicating secular equilibrium between 232 Th and its daughter product 228 Th. The study describes the application of isotopic thorium activity as a chronological indicator for geological characterization.

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