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Release of Uranium by an Ore Treatment Unit at Caldas, MG, Brazil

DOI: 10.4236/jep.2013.46066, PP. 570-574

Keywords: Uranium, Ore Treatment Unit, Caldas, Radionuclide Monitoring

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Abstract:

This study aims to assess the behavior of the release of Unat (i.e. uranium isotopes in natural relative abundance) from the release of water treated by the Ore Treatment Unit (UTM) in Caldas, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, during the years 1999 to 2009. During this period, the unit showed no industrial activity, except between 2004 and 2005, when UTM operated 400 tons of monazite in a process to obtain rare earths. Unat was analyzed by spectrophotometry once per week in the effluent waters at sampling point 014. Two fractions were considered for analysis: the soluble one (that passes through a 0.45 μm filter) and the particulate one (retained on a 0.45 μm filter). Statistical analyses were performed: the “Z” test and Pearson’s r2 correlation index. The values for the soluble fraction were consistently lower than those of the particulate fraction and no statistically significant correlation was observed between the soluble and particulate fractions. However, the particulate and the total fractions (the sum of soluble and particulate) strongly correlated.

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