Radiological Studies at the Largest Mining Centers of Armenia

Demirchyan G.A.,

Movsisyan N.E.,

Pyuskyulyan K.I.,

Belyaeva O.A



The mining industry adversely impacts natural environments and contaminates them with accessory elements, including so-called primordial radionuclides: the 238U, 232Th, and 40K isotopes. The towns of Kapan and Kajaran are the largest mining centers of Armenia, at which Cu, Mo, and other metals were mined and processed starting in the 1950s. Our study was centered on the technologically enhanced natural radioactivity of urban soil and wastes of the mining industry and on the evaluation of the radiation doze and excess lifetime cancer risk induced by naturally occurring radioactive materials. These studies have shown that industrial facilities in the town of Kapan are the main factors of the redistribution of radionuclides in the urban soil, but the health risks mostly do not exceed the global average levels because of the low level of the natural radioactivity of the ore. The natural radioactivity of soil in Kajaran is controlled by the parent rocks of the soil (these are intrusive rocks, mostly monzonite), and the mining facilities only insignificantly affect the radioactivity redistribution. The higher natural radioactivity of the urban soils at Kajaran causes a potential health risk.