Date of Award

11-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Food Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mohammed Abdul Mohsen Alyafei

Second Advisor

Dr. Shyam Kurup

Third Advisor

Dr. Abdul Jaleel Cheruth

Abstract

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has initiated the first civilian nuclear power plant, and it will be operating four reactors between (2018-2020). The establishment of Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, which will employ the nuclear power to generate clean energy, is a significant step forward minimizing the UAE carbon footprint. Before the construction of any regulated nuclear facility, it is essential to investigate the environmental background radiation level in the country. Such an investigation is critical for providing the background data for the environmental impact assessment of the nuclear facility. The present study represents the first research effort in the (UAE) to build a database of agricultural topsoil radioactivity concentrations established using standard sampling and analytical procedures. This study determines the primordial radionuclides concentrations obtained from 145 soil samples collected from multiple agriculture farms in the United Arab Emirates. Collected soil samples were analyzed to establish radioactivity concentration levels associated with 226Ra, 232Th and 40K. High-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry measured the activity concentrations. The results indicate that the mean specific activity concentrations (in BqKg-1) were 15.34 ± 2.8, 4.18 ± 1.4 and 310.74 ± 63.9 for 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K, respectively. Besides, the study determines the anthropogenic radionuclides concentration. Cesium-137 was detected in a little number of samples with a specific activity of 0.75 ± 0.01 BqKg-1. All study collected sample activities and radiation parameters were found to be below maximal admissible values established in various international recommendations and standards. Also, the present study represents the first documented baseline concentration of the UAE soil minerals, trace, and heavy metals contents. The mean values (mg Kg-1) were: Al - 8,539.7, As - 2.17, B - 47.68, Ca - 86,264.5, Cd - 0.35, Co - 10.30, Cr - 111.20, Cu - 14.32, Fe - 9,839.80, K - 2,026.80, Mg - 26,688.30, Mn - 237.40, Mo - 0.02, Na - 470.40, Ni - 60.90, P - 450.60, Pb - 4.25, S - 2,393.50, Si - 795.68, Sr - 593.70, V - 20.90 and Zn - 24.90. Further, study results were compared against international recommended levels. Also, we provided recommendations to the UAE concerned entities regarding regulating the concentrations of these elements found in the agricultural soil. Future research recommendations include extending the study scope to cover all the agricultural farms in the UAE including organic farms. The study results supported radioactivity concentration and mineral mapping of the UAE soils using the Geographic Information System (GIS

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Agriculture Commons

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