A radium production factory was operated in the Barracão village, near Guarda, Portugal, and from 1908 to 1941 produced radium-barium sulphate salts for use in radiotherapy. The factory site has been closed for decades and surveil-lance was kept by the uranium mining company. In the early 80s of past century, the site was monitored and partly cleaned up with transfer of ore remainders and waste heaps to a waste disposal mine site elsewhere. New clean-up operation took place in 2007 and the facilities were fenced. The radioactivity levels in and around the Factory were recently re assessed and results are reported herein. Concentrations of uranium series radionuclides were determined in agriculture soils nearby, in water from irrigation wells, in the surface stream that received waste water from the factory, and in water from a public fountain in the village. Vegetables from agriculture plots near the factory were analyzed also and the effective radiation dose to inhabitants through consumption of these products was assessed. Radiation exposure of members of the public and results of clean-up operation are discussed.
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- Radioactivity assessment at the site of historical radium salts factory
Fernando P. Carvalho
João M. Oliveira