Radionuclides content and the radiological hazard of sediment of the Euphrates River and sprigs-western Iraq


Sediments samples from ten stations along the Euphrates River and seven samples from selected springs within Al –Anbar governorate, (western part of Iraq), were collected and analyzed for radioactivity. Sediments samples were dried at 100 ºC for 24 hours. Radioactivity in 1 kg of each sample was measured using gamma spectrometer system based on a pure germanium detector with efficiency 30%. The activity of Ra-226, Th-232, K-40 were measured to be within the typical average of the radioactivity in sediment in world rivers, while relatively elevated concentration were found in the sediment of some of the studied spring. In current study activity concentrations of Cs-137 in the sediments were detected which may be caused by the global fallout as well as caused by transferring of cesium from the relatively high concentration areas in western desert by the rainwater within the valleys to the sediments of the Euphrates. The radiological aspects were investigated by calculating the radiological hazard indices such as absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, hazard indices and gamma index. The radiological hazard indices were below the recommended international values. Ra-226 and Cs-137 concentrations in water and radiation doses due to drink water of the Euphrates River were estimated. The maximum estimated interior doses which caused by 137Cs and 226Ra in water were found to be 1.93 x 10-5mSv/y and 4.01x10-3 mSv/y, respectively.