Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find safer ways to detect uranium minerals

22.11.2006
The threat of 'dirty' bombs and plans to use nuclear power as an energy source have driven Queensland University of Technology scientists to discover a new, safer way of detecting radioative contamination in the ground.

Professor Ray Frost, from QUT's School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, has found a way of identifying, from a remote location, uranium deposits that have leached into the soil and water.

"The ability to be able to easily and readily detect uranium minerals, especially secondary minerals, is of great importance especially in today's current climate of terrorism and increased uranium mining," Professor Frost said.

"What is not commonly known is that many uranium minerals, especially the secondary minerals, are soluble and can translocate or move in water to areas far away from where uranium sites are found.

"This means that uranium minerals could arise in soils and sediments from unknown origins and in locations far from their origins."

Professor Frost said using a technique known as near infrared spectroscopy, radioactive minerals could be detected by scientists located far away from a contaminated site.

"Using a fibre optic probe and the near infrared spectroscopy technique, we have found that we can detect whether uranium minerals are present in soil.

"Near infrared spectroscopy can identify the types of uranium minerals that are present.

"This means we can now identify whether or not radioactive deposits exist and the risk these deposits might present to both the environment and the community."

Near infrared spectroscopy is a technique that uses a light source to scan the surface of a material to identify the chemical properties of that surface.

In doing so, it is possible to determine whether or not radioactive uranium minerals are present in the ground.

Professor Frost said proposals to use nuclear power for the generation of electricity in Australia as well as other countries, indicated there would be increased mining of uranium in the future.

"This will result in mine waste and the accumulation of hazardous minerals," he said.

He said this coupled with the concerns raised about the threat of so-called dirty bombs as terrorism weapons, highlighted the importance of being able to identify radioactive uranium minerals.

Professor Frost said given the ability of radioactive uranium minerals to disperse over extensive locations, there was a definite need to widely test ground sites for possible contamination.

Media contact
- Sandra Hutchinson, QUT media officer, 07 3138 2130 or s3.hutchinson@qut.edu.au

Sandra Hutchinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qut.edu.au

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat
18.05.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

nachricht Researchers control the properties of graphene transistors using pressure
17.05.2018 | Columbia University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>