Novosibirsk State University Participates in Study of Radioactivity in Novosibirsk Water

The water that the population uses on a daily basis comes fr om surface water and does not pose any health hazard because its quality is constantly monitored and its radiological characteristics are studied. The research subject for this project is groundwater. 

Dmitry Novikov, Project leader, Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Hydrogeology of Sedimentary Basins of Siberia at TIPG, and Associate Professor at the NSU Department of Geology and Geophysics described the importance of the project,

The danger to be explored is the water from wells that people drill themselves on their land in the suburbs or within the city limits. The wells are shallow, no one conducts a comprehensive analysis of the composition of the water. At most, they perform a general chemical analysis and study the distribution of certain microcomponents, such as iron and manganese. They don’t consider the possibility that there may be radon, uranium, thorium, and other highly toxic chemical elements and compounds in the water they use for drinking. 

According to Novikov, most of Novosibirsk stands on the same granite massif. As a result, an increased natural background of radionuclides has been observed in the groundwater in the city itself and around it. Other granite massifs in the region have also been discovered. In addition, during the geological surveys of the last century, many anomalies were revealed such as ore manifestations of molybdenum, tin, mercury, nickel, cobalt, gold and even uranium. There is a small uranium deposit in the suburbs of Novosibirsk. In some areas of the city there are very high concentrations of arsenic.

Novikov continued,

Within the framework of the new project, we will consider the processes that form the radionuclide composition of water - wh ere and what are the concentrations of radionuclides in waters and in water-bearing rocks. First of all, we are interested in uranium, thorium, and the radioactive gas radon. We are currently in the midst of our field work with more than 90 samples taken to date. Objects under study are natural outlets of groundwater to the surface, springs, water wells, wells, and river and lake surface waters.  

The results of this research will allow scientists to get closer to understanding the processes of formation of the composition of groundwater of various isotope-geochemical patterns in oil and gas basins. A key focus is, under what conditions and in what forms does the migration of uranium and thorium occur.

Made on basis of TIPG Press-service material.