Cs-137 in milk, vegetation, soil, and water near the former Soviet Union’s Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site
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The present study was carried out to evaluate Cs-137 activity concentration in soil, water, vegetation, and cow's milk at 10 locations within three regions (Abai, Ayaguz, and Urdzhar) to the southeast of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (SNTS) in Kazakhstan. Cs-137 activity concentrations, determined using a pure Ge gamma-ray spectrometer, showed that, all samples collected did not exceed the National maximum allowable limits of 10,000 Bq/kg for soil, 100 Bq/kg for cow's milk, 74 Bq/kg for vegetation, and 11 Bq/kg for water. Cs-137 is, therefore, not considered a health hazard in these regions. The highest levels of contamination were found in the Abai region, where the highest activity concentration of Cs-137 was 18.0 ± 1.0 Bq/kg in soil, 7.60 ± 0.31 Bq/kg in cow's milk, 4.00 ± 0.14 Bq/kg in the vegetation, and 3.00 ± 0.24 Bq/kg in water. The lowest levels were measured within the Urdzhar region, where 4.00 ± 0.14 Bq/kg was found in the soil, 0.30 ± 0.02 Bq/kg in the cow's milk, 1.00 ± 0.03 Bq/kg in the vegetation, and 0.20 ± 0.02 Bq/kg in the water.
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