Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Find Safer Ways To Detect Uranium Minerals

Date:
November 26, 2006
Source:
Queensland University of Technology
Summary:
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. Scientists from Queensland University of Technology have found a way of identifying, from a remote location, uranium deposits that have leached into the soil and water.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queensland University of Technology. "Scientists Find Safer Ways To Detect Uranium Minerals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061126121153.htm>.
Queensland University of Technology. (2006, November 26). Scientists Find Safer Ways To Detect Uranium Minerals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061126121153.htm
Queensland University of Technology. "Scientists Find Safer Ways To Detect Uranium Minerals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061126121153.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins