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Minerals 2015, 5(4), 637-646; https://doi.org/10.3390/min5040513

Radioactivity of Natural Nuclides (40K, 238U, 232Th, 226Ra) in Coals from Eastern Yunnan, China

1
School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221000, China
2
Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and the Environments, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
3
College of Life Sciences, Huai Bei Normal University, Huaibei 235000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Shifeng Dai and Mostafa Fayek
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 11 September 2015 / Accepted: 18 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal)
Full-Text   |   PDF [809 KB, uploaded 30 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

The naturally occurring primordial radionuclides in coals might exhibit high radioactivity, and can be exported to the surrounding environment during coal combustion. In this study, nine coal samples were collected from eastern Yunnan coal deposits, China, aiming at characterizing the overall radioactivity of some typical nuclides (i.e., 40K, 238U, 232Th, 226Ra) and assessing their ecological impact. The mean activity concentrations of 238U, 232Th, 40K and 226Ra are 63.86 (17.70–92.30 Bq· kg-1), 23.76 (11.10–37.10 Bq· kg-1), 96.84 (30.60–229.30 Bq· kg-1) and 28.09 Bq·kg-1 (3.10–61.80 Bq·kg-1), respectively. Both 238U and 232Th have high correlations with ash yield of coals, suggesting their inorganic origins. The overall environmental effect of natural radionuclides in studied coals is considered to be negligible, as assessed by related indexes (i.e., radium equivalent activity, air-adsorbed dose rate, annual effective dose, and external hazard index). However, the absorbed dose rates values are higher than the average value of global primordial radiation and the Chinese natural gamma radiation dose rate. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal; radioactivity; nuclide; Yunnan; China coal; radioactivity; nuclide; Yunnan; China
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, X.; Feng, Q.; Sun, R.; Liu, G. Radioactivity of Natural Nuclides (40K, 238U, 232Th, 226Ra) in Coals from Eastern Yunnan, China. Minerals 2015, 5, 637-646.

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