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  • 1 Delft University of Technology Interfaculty Reactor Institute Mekelweg 15 2629 JB Delft The Netherlands
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Abstract  

Phosphogypsum discharges by phosphate-ore processing industries pollute sediments of the Rotterdam harbour area with226Ra. Direct measurement of this radionuclide in sediments does not provide a reliable indication of the elevation of the levels, since226Ra levels in sediments depend on the particle size. To eliminate the size effect, the226Ra/Ba ratio in sediments was tested as a possible indicator for the226Ra in the discharges. The results indicate almost a doubling of the226Ra levels in sediment samples due to phosphogypsum discharges. The contribution of phosphogypsum to the sediment mass was calculated in the order of a few percent equivalent.