Distribution of heavy metals around the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates

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Environmental Science and Pollution Research


© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy was used to measure the concentrations of heavy metals in 58 samples collected from the Barakah nuclear power plant (BNPP) area, UAE. The grain size distribution was symmetric, but the samples ranged from fine to coarse sand. The inverse relationship between grain size and heavy metal contaminations was validated. The pre-operational average heavy metal contaminations around the BNPP were 0.03, 0.40, 1.2, 2.05, 1.66, 1.6, 5.9, 7.3, 7, 8.8, 60, and 2521 ppm for Cd, Mo, Co, Cu, Pb, As, Zn, Ni, V, Cr, Mn, and Fe, respectively. The spatial distribution was more compact in the south compared to the north, with less severe contaminations in the east and west. The negative geoaccumulation indices suggest an uncontaminated area, and the BNPP has minor enrichments. All concentrations were significantly below the safe limits set by the Dutch guidelines. The levels of heavy metals reported in the UAE were lower than levels reported in countries around the world.

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