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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 25, 2016

Evaluation of Radiological Hazards of Particulates Emissions From a Coal Fired Power Plant

  • J. Suhana and M. Rashid EMAIL logo


Natural minerals may contain radionuclides of natural origin of Uranium-238 (238U) and Thorium-232 (232Th) decay series. Similarly, coal like any other minerals found in nature contains trace amount of such naturally occurring radionuclides including Potassium-40 (40K). The generation of electricity by coal fired power plant (CFPP) releases particulates emission to the atmosphere and deposited on the surrounding area that may increase the natural background radiation level within the facility. This paper presents an evaluation of the natural radioactivity concentration found in the particulates emission from a typical CFPP in Malaysia. Standard Gaussian dispersion model approach was used to predict the potential radiological hazards arising from the particulates released from the stack. The predicted maximum ground level particulate (Cmax) concentration and downwind distance (X) was 52 µg m–3 and 1,600 m of away from the CFPP, respectively. The air dispersion modelling results recorded that the calculated Cmax released from the CFPP was found lower than the national and international ambient air quality limits, which means that radiological hazards due to inhalation of natural radionuclides in particulate released to the environment is insignificant. The findings revealed that, this activity does not impose any significant radiological risk to the human population at large and the operation is in compliance with the national legislation and international practice.

Funding statement: This research is supported by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (MOSTI) through Science Fund Grant No. LPTA0000005.


The authors would like to express their gratitude to MOSTI and Government of Malaysia for the encouragement and continuous support of the study.


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Received: 2015-12-22
Revised: 2016-6-2
Accepted: 2016-6-5
Published Online: 2016-6-25
Published in Print: 2016-9-1

©2016 by De Gruyter

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