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J Environ Radioact. 2013 Jun;120:6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Recent measurements of 234U/238U isotope ratio in spring waters from the Hadzici area.

Author information

1
Institute for Public Health FB&H, M. Tita 9, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. a.vidic@zzjzfbih.ba

Abstract

The Hadzici area has become interesting for investigation since depleted uranium ammunition had been employed in 1995 during the NATO air strike campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The purpose of this study is to determine uranium concentration and (234)U/(238)U activity ratio in the spring waters of this area and to investigate their relationship, as well as spatial variations. The spring water samples were taken at 18 sites in total. For the determination of uranium radioisotopes, radiochemical separation procedure followed by alpha-particle spectrometry was applied. Uranium concentration in analyzed waters range from 0.15 to 1.12 μg/L. Spring waters from carbonate based sediments have a lower uranium concentration of between 0.15 and 0.43 μg/L, in comparison to waters sampled within sandstone-based sediments ranging from 0.53 to 1.12 μg/L. Dissolved uranium shows significant spatial variability and correlation with bedrock type confirmed by Principal Component Analysis and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis. The majority of the analyzed waters have a (234)U/(238)U activity ratio ranging from 1.02 to 1.90, of which half of the results range between 1.02 and 1.16. No apparent depleted uranium (DU) contamination was observed, as (234)U/(238)U activity ratio is dependent on geochemical conditions in the environment. Even though the tested spring waters demonstrate significant variability in uranium concentration, (234)U/(238)U activity ratio and (234)U excess, waters with similar uranium isotopic signatures are observable within the region. The guidelines on the spatial redistribution of dissolved uranium (corresponding to (238)U mass concentration), along with (234)U/(238)U activity ratios were provided by the Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) method. Waters having similar isotopic signature have been delineated.

PMID:
23410592
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.01.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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