Radiochemical methods for determination of radionuclides in water samples
Articles 35 and 36 of EURATOM state that all European Union members are required to monitor radioactivity and report the results of activity concentrations in the environment. The EU member states, as well as those in the process of becoming active members, are required to establish qualified laboratories with developed radiochemical procedures for the analyses of natural and artificial radionuclides in environmental samples (especially in drinking water consumed in large quantities on a daily basis).
As the need for replacing tap water with commercially available natural spring and mineral water has grown the detailed research of dissolved radionuclides in water and related dose assessment has intensified since 1993. World Health Organization (WHO) issued Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality stating that the maximum annual dose received from 2 L per day water consumption must not exceed 0,1 mSv. European Council Directive 98/83/EC regulates the same maximum annual received dose as WHO, but requires radioactivity monitoring of all naturally occuring radionuclides, excluding tritium, K-40, C-14, radon and its progenies from the total dose calculation. Dose coefficients are related to a particular radionuclide and their radiotoxicity is in direct relation to dose conversion factors, the highest being for decay products of natural uranium and thorium decay chains. A revision of the mentioned Directive is in progress where the parameters for radionuclide activity concentration determinations will be given as well as recommendations for the laboratories performing analyses.
The aim of this project is development of radiochemical procedures for determination of low level activities of natural and artificial radionuclides (U-238, U-234, Th-232, Th-230, Th-228, Ra-228, Ra-226, Pb-210, Po-210, Sr-90, Cs-137...) in drinking natural spring and mineral waters and commercial beverages.