DAE unit develops device to measure uranium traces in water

An instrument to measure traces of uranium in water has been developed by a unit of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), an official said today.

The instrument, “Fluorimeter”, has been developed by the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), an Indore-based unit of the DAE.

The device, costing Rs 1 lakh, would help in detecting traces of uranium in water. It will be especially helpful in areas like Punjab where uranium traces in water sources have been found to be at dangerous levels, said RRCAT director P A Naik.

The instrument is capable of examining traces of uranium in a sample of water from 0.1 PPB (Parts-per-billion) unit to 100 PPB, Raja said.

Notably, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has fixed the permissible radiological limit to 60 PPB of uranium concentration for drinking water.

Experts have said people should avoid using water from sources where uranium traces are more than the limit set by the AERB.

Drinking water with high levels of uranium traces increase radiological and chemical risks to human health, they said.

“Uranium is a radioactive element. If in any source of water it’s quantity is more than the permissible limit, then use of such water may cause thyroid cancer, blood cancer, depression and other serious ailments.

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