Environmental Radioactivity in Turkish Environment

Bayram T. (Editor), Zayachuk Y. (Editor), K. Gupta D. (Editor)

Sivas Cumhuriyet Üniversitesi Matbaası, Sivas, 2020

  • Publication Type: Book / Vocational Book
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Publisher: Sivas Cumhuriyet Üniversitesi Matbaası
  • City: Sivas
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Radioactivity can be found at diierent levels in various environments such as soil, rock, water food and in air. In principle, the source of environmental radioactivity can be classified into two groups named natural and manmade. Natural radiation sources can have cosmic or terrestrial origin. Terrestrial radiation sources originate from primordial radionuclides in the earth's crust that have existed since the beginning of the world. The most important primordial radionuclides in terms of radiological risk for humans are 40K, 238U, 232Th and their decay products of both natural radioactive series. 87Rb and 235U are second-rate primordial radionuclides, to be neglected by their contribution to the human dose. Generally, the concentrations of natural radionuclide activity observed in soils reflect the natural background concentrations of the rocks from which they are derived. On the other hand, human activities such as burning of coal to provide electrical energy and application of artificial fertilizers containing phosphates to increase agricultural production causes the enrichment of natural radioactivity concentrations in the environment. Naturally occurring radioactivity is of immediate and crucial concern to the people and authorities responsible for environmental protection. Because of this reason many studies and projects have been devoted for determining and monitoring of radiation levels in various environments. Continued studies on the radiation levels in various environments either from natural radiation sources or releasing radionuclides into the environment by human activities can contribute to our knowledge about radiation risk and dangers of radiation.

The studying of environmental radiation levels in Turkey goes back to three decades before it was not more. After the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident in 1986 triggered many investigations on radiation levels in various environments of Turkey because Turkey is a possible candidate (in particular northern part of Turkey) for to be ejecting from the accident geographically. We may say that this disaster has opened the mind of Turkish researchers, communities and authorities by means of hazards of radiation. Furthermore, there are two planned nuclear power plants in Turkey named Akkuyu and Sinop Nuclear Power Plant, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is under construction now. Most of the environmental radiation studies in the close areas of planned nuclear power plants had been done for filling the data of background radiation levels in Turkey before start of operation of these nuclear power plants.

Many excellent works have been noticed and devoted for investigation of radiation levels in various Turkish environments originated either from natural and manmade radiation sources during recent three decades. The motivation to edit this monograph was for collecting and reviewing the data of environmental radioactivity of Turkey in a single book. In this monograph, radioactivity in various environment of Turkey has been reviewed with light of previous published research papers are discussed in detail. Also some chapters contain newly measured environmental radiation data together with their health risks for humans.

In the first chapter of the book, fundamental concepts of radiation, radioactivity, radionuclides and radiation in various environments are introduced. Because fundamental knowledge about radiation and radionuclides which causes radioactivity in air, water, soil, and in rocks, is very important for deeper understanding about nature of environmental radioactivity, it is a good suggestion for the readers who don't have deeper knowledge about radiation and radioactivity. In the second chapter, detection methods of radioactivity used in Turkish environmental studies have been discussed in detail and it can be considered as to be educational chapter which can be useful for understanding of sampling methods and tools for environmental radiation measurements. Fallowing two chapters have given detailed lights about radioactivity in Turkish soil and food. Natural radioactivity levels of various regions of Turkey have also given in some chapters of the book. The book also contains detailed chapters related with a new approach to predicting natural radiation levels in environments by using artificial intelligence method and measurement uncertainty associated with activity of alpha emitted radionuclides in the environment. Furthermore, there can be found a chapter covers usage of polychaeta species as biomonitor for heavy metal pollution in the marine environments.

We hope that this book can be useful for readers who are willing to gain information about radioactivity levels in various environments of Turkey and young researchers to understand sampling and measurements methods for environmental radiation studies. Drs. Tuncay Bayram, Dharmendra K. Gupta and Yevhen Zayachuk, individually acknowledge all authors for contributing their valuable time, information and interest to bring this book into its current form.