Radioactivity of Water

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Radioactivity of Water


the radioactivity caused by the presence of radioactive substances. These substances are introduced from the atmosphere or are washed out of soils and rocks. Both natural radioactive isotopes, such as 40K, 222Rn, 226Ra, and 238U, and artificial isotopes arising from nuclear explosions, mainly 90Sr, 90Y, and 137Cs, can be present in water. The content of natural radioactive substances in water depends on the origin of the substances and varies considerably (Table 1).

Artificial radioactive substances enter water together with precipitates from the atmosphere. Thus, as a result of the testing of nuclear weapons, the concentration of 90Sr in natural water increased steadily until 1968, reaching 10 picocuries per liter in some cases. Another major source of artificial radioactive substances is the water discharged from plants that produce nuclear fuel.


Belousova, I. M., and Iu. M. Shtukkenberg. Estestvennaia radioaktivnost’. Moscow, 1961.
Voprosy iadernoi meteorologii: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1962. Pages 259–71.
Radioekologiia vodnykh organizmov [fascs. 1–2]. Riga, 1972–73.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?