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Title: Thorium, uranium and rare earth elements content in lanthanide concentrate (LC) and water leach purification (WLP) residue of Lynas advanced materials plant (LAMP)

Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) has been licensed to produce the rare earths elements since early 2013 in Malaysia. LAMP processes lanthanide concentrate (LC) to extract rare earth elements and subsequently produce large volumes of water leach purification (WLP) residue containing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). This residue has been rising up the environmental issue because it was suspected to accumulate thorium with significant activity concentration and has been classified as radioactive residue. The aim of this study is to determine Th-232, U-238 and rare earth elements in lanthanide concentrate (LC) and water leach purification (WLP) residue collected from LAMP and to evaluate the potential radiological impacts of the WLP residue on the environment. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis and γ-spectrometry were used for determination of Th, U and rare earth elements concentrations. The results of this study found that the concentration of Th in LC was 1289.7 ± 129 ppm (5274.9 ± 527.6Bq/kg) whereas the Th and U concentrations in WLP were determined to be 1952.9±17.6 ppm (7987.4 ± 71.9 Bq/kg) and 17.2 ± 2.4 ppm respectively. The concentrations of Th and U in LC and WLP samples determined by γ- spectrometry were 1156 ppm (4728 ± 22 Bq/kg) andmore » 18.8 ppm and 1763.2 ppm (7211.4 Bq/kg) and 29.97 ppm respectively. This study showed that thorium concentrations were higher in WLP compare to LC. This study also indicate that WLP residue has high radioactivity of {sup 232}Th compared to Malaysian soil natural background (63 - 110 Bq/kg) and come under preview of Act 304 and regulations. In LC, the Ce and Nd concentrations determined by INAA were 13.2 ± 0.6% and 4.7 ± 0.1% respectively whereas the concentrations of La, Ce, Nd and Sm in WLP were 0.36 ± 0.04%, 1.6%, 0.22% and 0.06% respectively. This result showed that some amount of rare earth had not been extracted and remained in the WLP and may be considered to be reextracted.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Nuclear Science Programme, School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi (Malaysia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22266092
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1584; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: iNuSTEC2013: International nuclear science, technology and engineering conference 2013, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 30 Sep - 2 Oct 2013; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; NEUTRON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; RADIOACTIVITY; RARE EARTHS; SOILS; SPECTROSCOPY; THORIUM; THORIUM 232; URANIUM; URANIUM 238; WATER