Title: The system of monitoring and controlling natural radiation hazards in Polish coal mines

Authors: Małgorzata Wysocka; Krystian Skubacz; Bogusław Michalik; Stanisław Chałupnik; Jan Skowronek; Michał Bonczyk; Izabela Chmielewska; Krzysztof Samolej

Addresses: Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute, GIG, 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute, GIG, 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute, GIG, 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute, GIG, 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas (IETU), 40-844 Katowice, 6, Kossuth St., Poland ' Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute, GIG, 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute, GIG, 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute, GIG, 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland

Abstract: The problem of radiation hazards related to non-uranium mining was first recognised in the oil and gas industry, while investigations in Poland started in underground coal mines in the early 1970s. It has been revealed that the main sources of natural radiation in Polish coal mines are short-lived radon decay products, radium-bearing formation waters, deposits with enhanced radioactivity, precipitated out of radium-bearing waters. These deposits are characterised by the remarkably high content of radium isotopes. Therefore, the deposits are intense sources of external gamma radiation as well as internal contamination. The highest observed radium concentration in brines was 400 kBq/m3. In the case of sediments, the highest measured 226Ra concentration was 160 kBq/kg, and 228Ra was 140 kBq/kg. The hazard caused by radon decay products became the issue of investigations later on in the mid-1980s. The radiation monitoring and protection system against all-natural radiation sources of exposure in mines was designed and implemented in the Polish legal system in 1989 and then enforced in all underground mines. The results of more than 25 years of radiation hazard monitoring are presented in this article.

Keywords: enhanced natural radioactivity; radium-bearing waters; radioactive sediments; radiation hazard; exposure assessment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMME.2021.119216

International Journal of Mining and Mineral Engineering, 2021 Vol.12 No.3, pp.229 - 249

Received: 02 Oct 2020
Accepted: 16 Sep 2021

Published online: 25 Nov 2021 *

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