Volume No. 3 Issue No.: 3 Page No.: 595-600 Jan-Mar 2009

 

POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECT OF ELEVATED LEVELS OF RADIUM-226 IN PRODUCED WATER

 

A.E. Pillay1, F.M. Salih* and K Jayasekara2

The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.)
Dept. of Clinical and Biomedical Physics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Al Khoud, 123, (SULTANATE OF OMAN)

 

Received on : November 15, 2008

 

ABSTRACT

 

Produced water represents the aqueous component separated from oil. Produced water from oil showed abnormal activities of 226Ra, appreciably exceeding the admissible limit of 5 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) for potable water, which is roughly 0.2 Becquerels/L (0.2 Bq/L). We used this as an indicator to evaluate the potential threat of contamination to underground aquatic supplies. Several samples were collected and monitored for gamma rays for a period of one year. We found that about 31% of the samples fell below 20 Bq/L; roughly 51% were in the range 20-60 Bq/L and about 18 % occurred between 60-100 Bq/L. All told about 96% exceeded the stipulated limit. The potential impact of these raised levels on aquatic resources and the general environment is discussed.

 

Keywords : Produced water, Radioactivity, 226Ra, Decay series, Gamma ray spectroscopy.

 

 

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