Ensuring access to clean, safe, and sufficient drinking water is crucial for maintaining public health and overall well-being. Elevated levels of radionuclides in water can pose health risks that need to be addressed. Hidex equipment is widely utilized for monitoring radioactive isotopes in various water sources, including drinking water, surface waters, and discharged cooling waters from nuclear power plants.
The presence of naturally occurring radionuclides in drinking and mineral water primarily stems from the Uranium-238 decay series, namely 238U, 234U, 226Ra, as well as 210Pb and 210Po. Other contributors may include 228Ra from the Th-232 decay series, the radioactive noble gas Rn (particularly 222Rn), and Tritium, which might also play a significant role.
It is important to note that the concentration and composition of radioactivity in water can vary based on geographical factors. Consequently, there are diverse local regulations governing the measurement of radioisotopes in water. One notable example is the European Union's latest Drinking Water Directive (EU) 2020/21841, which was enacted into law by member states in January 2023. Another relevant regulation is the US EPA radionuclides rule implemented in 2000.
Preparation for nuclear accidents necessitates a diverse range of measurement capabilities, encompassing population protection, food and water analysis, and the characterization of released radioactive substances.
Hidex instruments have played a vital role in recent nuclear incidents, such as the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant accident. Among the critical measurement needs, the monitoring of food and drinking water stands out. The Hidex Triathler Bequerel Finder, with its unique ability to measure alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, coupled with its portability, emerges as a highly effective tool for both mobile laboratories and temporary counting station setups.
Hidex sample preparation equipment such as Q-ARE automatic radioactive extraction system is used in measurement of airborne radioactive materials to characterise potential leakages. Hidex liquid scintillation counters with rapid screening methods for strontium isotopes, provide quick information about released activities. The combination of sample preparation and liquid scintillation counters are powerful tool to characterise released material and public safety concerns.
Isotope hydrology contributes to a better understanding of the water cycle and has various applications. It is instrumental in water resource assessment, management, and studying past and future changes in the Earth's climate. Additionally, it plays a significant role in forensic areas such as ecological studies, wildlife monitoring, and food source traceability.
The monitoring of tritium in groundwater is a vital aspect of isotope hydrology. Following the prohibition of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, environmental tritium levels have significantly declined. However, accurately measuring ultra-low concentrations of tritium poses significant challenges. Hidex's ultra low level liquid scintillation counters have emerged as an invaluable tool in this specific field, enabling precise measurements.
In times of nuclear incidents, Hidex instruments, such as the Triathler Bequerel Finder and Q-ARE automatic radioactive extraction system, have proven invaluable. They aid in measuring and characterizing released radioactive substances, ensuring public safety through swift and accurate analysis. The combination of sample preparation equipment and liquid scintillation counters emerges as a powerful tool for addressing environmental radioactivity and the associated concerns.