Radionuclides in produced water from Norwegian oil and gas installations — concentrations and bioavailability
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Substantial amounts of produced water, containing elevated levels of radionuclides (mainly 226Ra and 228Ra) are discharged to the sea as a result of oil and gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. So far no study has assessed the potential radiological effects on marine biota in connection with radionuclide discharges to the North Sea. The main objective of the project is to establish radiological safe discharge limits for radium, lead and polonium associated with other components in produced water from oil and gas installations on the Norwegian continental shelf.
This study reports results indicating that the presence of added chemicals such as scale inhibitors in produced water has a marked influence on the formation of radium and barium sulphates when produced water is mixed with sea water. Thus, the mobility and bioavailability of radium (and barium) will be larger than anticipated. Also, the bioavailability of food-borne radium is shown to increase due to presence of such chemicals.
KeywordsRadium 210Pb Produce Water Polonium Barium Sulphate
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