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Natural Radioactive Geological Objects in Georgia

#G-681


Manifestation of Abnormally High Natural Radioactivity of Rocks and Underground Waters on the Territory of Georgia and Assessment of Risk of Their Use for Different Purposes

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • ENV-SPC/Solid Waste Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
12.02.2001

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi

Collaborators

  • Universität Tübingen / Institute of Geology, Germany, Tübingen\nHarvard University, USA, MA, Cambridge

Project summary

The main purpose of this Project is to reveal different sites and geological objects characterized with abnormally high radioactivity and to systematize the radioactive parameters for the establishment of wide radiation-control over the radioactive situation in Georgia.
Another purpose of the Project is Risk's assessment of use of rocks and waters with high radioactivity in different spheres. For example, in building practice, medicine, agriculture etc.
The final purpose of the Project works is determination of the influence of natural radioactive geological objects on the ecological situation in Georgia.
In Georgia as one of the former Soviet Republic, beginning from Second World War the geological prospecting works were carried out by special geological organizations for the purpose to reveal and to study Uranium deposits. However these works concern to perspective sites only and had a specific purpose to solve local problems. The question of radioactive pollution of environment wasn't considered and studied then.
Accumulated during these investigations unsystematic actual data of radiometric measurements, carried out within the local regions of Georgia, indicate presence of numerous sites characterized by radioactive anomalies, stipulated by natural radionuclides. According to earlier works data nearly one hundred Uranium and Uranium-Thorium ore-manifestations are fixed with content of Uranium wide range: from 0,01% to 0,5%. More than 500 superficial and underground gamma-anomalies and about 300 air-gamma-anomalies are fixed too, stipulated by natural radioactive elements.
The great morphological, genetic and age variety of Uranium and Uranium-Thorium ore-manifestations and Anomalies is observed. They are connected with magmatic, metamorphic and sediment rocks of different age. (from Cambrium to Quaternary) nearly in all geotectonic zones of Georgia. For all that, in many cases the Mezozoic and Cenozoic rocks characterized with high content of radioactive elements are exposured directly on the Earth-Surface, which creates the serious danger for the local population.
Especially in detail must be investigated rocks used by population for different purposes, for example, as a building material or as facing stones. They mainly are represented by sour and middle-sour varieties of intrusive formations, and some facies of volcanic tuffs, characterized by high radioactivity. Uncontrolled use of these rocks for building and facing purposes strongly aggravates the ecological situation within the towns and settlements. As an example may by cite and disposed in center of Tbilisi the granit's memorial to famous Georgian poet of XII century Shota Rustaveli. The radioactivity this memorial is 10 times higher than the radioactive background of surrounding territory.
The most important among the natural sources of radiation is the heavy gas-Radon, occured in nature as Radon-222, member of radioactive series, formed by products of disintegration of Uranium-238 and Radon-220, as a member of radioactive line of Thorium-232.
A great number of radiohydrogeological anomalies of Uranium or Radium-Radon types is fixed in underground waters within the nearly all hydrogeological regions of Georgia. The maximum radioactivity is characterized for highthermal pressure subterranean waters. Many of mentioned radiohydrogeological anomalies represent the natural discharges of underground waters on the Earth surface within settlements, agricultural areas, transport-communications and other life objects, aggravated the radioecological situation in corresponding regions.
The systematization of numerous data of radioactive measurements and the selective analysis of anomaly manifestations (" hurricane samples") give us the possibility to take possession of radioactive situation in Georgia and to elaborate scientific-grounded recommendations for prohibition of some types of natural building materials, for rational use of natural radioactive waters in medical and agricultural practice, strictly limitation or full removal of man-made reasons of environments radioactive pollution.
The Project will be developed by participation of specialists of geological, physical, geophysical, hydrogeological, biological, agrochemical and other spheres-doctors and candidates of sciences, specialists-engineers of long standing record of service in corresponding fields.
The expected results may be both of fundamental and applied importance. Implementation of the Project will replenish our knowledge about natural resources of Georgia, in particular, about radiogeological and radiohydrogeological resources with the perspective of their most rational use in economy.
On the bases of compilation specific radiometric, radiohydrogeological, radiogeochemical and radiogeoecological maps the radiation-situation of ecosystems will be estimated and the practical measurements will be elaborated for the restriction of use of some types of rocks and waters in different purposes and economical development of some already polluted territories.
Implementation of the Project creates the possibility to realize purposes and basic problems of ISTC:
1. To give possibility to scientists and specialists of Georgia, connected with weapons, to take reorientation their abilities to the pacific activity;
2. To stimulate the integration of Georgian scientists to International Scientific Society;
3. To sustain fundamental and applied investigations for pacific purposes, in particular, in the sphere of environment security and rational use of natural resources.
The total volume of works by Project is 294.2 person-month.
The participation of foreign Collaborators in the process of Project-development means the exchange of information during Project implementation joint consideration of technical reports, assistance in attendance in International conference and organization of joint seminars and consultations.
The technical approach and methodology foresee use of modern apparatus and modern analytic methods of investigation in field and laboratory conditions.


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