FISSION TRACK ESTIMATION OF URANIUM CONCENTRATIONS IN DRINKING WATER FROM AZAD KASHMIR, PAKISTAN


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Abstract

Abstract—The analysis of uranium in water samples can be very helpful for providing guidelines to the general public regarding necessary remedial measures. A fission-track technique has been applied for the estimation of the uranium concentration in drinking water collected from natural springs of Muzaffarabad and hilly areas of Reshian, Azad Kashmir. The technique involved simultaneous irradiation with thermal neutrons of a sample and a standard in contact with a track detector, and the counting of the fission tracks in the detector from the (n, f) nuclear reaction. Uranium concentrations of the samples were determined by comparing fission-track density with that of a standard of known uranium concentration. Uranium concentration in water samples from the Muzaffarabad and Reshian area varied from 0.03 ± 0.01 μgL−1 to 6.67 ± 0.14 μgL−1 with an average of 1.36 ± 0.05 μgL−1. The observed concentrations of uranium in drinking water were found to be less than the Maximum Acceptable Concentration levels of 9–30 μgL−1. Thus, the observed values are within safe limits as far as uranium related health hazards are concerned.

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