Taavi Vaasma Enrichment, atmospheric dispersion and deposition of naturally occurring radionuclides from oil shale-fired power plants | University of Tartu Institute of Physics

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Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
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    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
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    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
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    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
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    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
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    Lossi 3, 51003 Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
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    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
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+372 737 5957
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Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
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    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
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    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
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  • School of Economics and Business Administration
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  • Institute of Psychology
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  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
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Faculty of Science and Technology
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Vanemuise 46–208, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
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    Faculty address: 
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  • Institute of Computer Science
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    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
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  • Institute of Physics
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  • Institute of Chemistry
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  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
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  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
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  • Tartu Observatory
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  • Institute of Technology
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  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
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    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
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    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
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    Lossi 38, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
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    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
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    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
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    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
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  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
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    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
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    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
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    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
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    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
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    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
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  • Marketing and Communication Office
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  • Office of Academic Affairs
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  • Procurement Office
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    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
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    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
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  • University of Tartu Press
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  • Tartu University Hospital
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  • University of Tartu Foundation
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  • View all other units

Taavi Vaasma Enrichment, atmospheric dispersion and deposition of naturally occurring radionuclides from oil shale-fired power plants

Date: 
27.11.2017 - 12:15

Taavi Vaasma will defend his doctoral thesis titled “Enrichment, atmospheric dispersion and deposition of naturally occurring radionuclides from oil shale-fired power plantson November 27, 2017 at 12:15 at W. Ostwaldi 1, room B103.

Supervisors:
Dr. Madis Kiisk, Institute of Physics, University of Tartu
Dr. Alan Henry Tkaczyk, Institute of Physics, University of Tartu

Oponent: 
Dr. Bogusław Michalik (Silesian Centre for Environmetal Radioactivity, Poland)

Summary: 

Natural radiation sources surround us constantly. This includes cosmic rays from space, radionuclides in the Earth’s crust, water and foodstuff. Yearly doses from these sources surpass sever times the doses received by the public from artificial sources, such as certain medical procedures, nuclear industry and fossil fuel industry. Radiation originating from the Earth’s crust is mostly caused by the decay of unstable uranium and thorium isotopes as well as their own decay products. Evolution has played its roll here, as living organisms have adapted to cope with the constant radiation surrounding them. Problems can arise when material obtained from the Earth’s crust is further industrially processed. This may cause concentration of these radionuclides in by-products and their releases to the surrounding environment during combustion processes.

Two of the world’s largest oil shale-fired power plants (PP) have been operating in Ida-Virumaa around 50 years. Around 30 million tonnes of oil shale were burned per year during 1980s, which has decreased down to around 12 million tonnes per year nowadays. This has resulted in significant emission loads of radionuclides to the atmosphere. The concentrations and magnitudes of radionuclide emissions to the surrounding environment and their corresponding deposition loads were studied in a PhD work conducted at the Institute of Physics in University of Tartu. Within this study, it was found that:

-       Radionuclides concentrate up to 10 times in fly ashes, especially in the fine fraction that escapes the filter systems.

-       The fly ash and radionuclides are carried and deposited at distances over 50 km from the PPs. Largest deposition flux is however within 2 km from the plants.

-       Fly ash and radionuclide emissions have reduced 1 to 2 orders of magnitude compared to 1980s, mostly due to reducing the amount of burned oil shale and significant renovations done on the PPs.

-       The long operational period of the oil shale PPs has caused an accumulation of deposited radionuclides in the surrounding environment. The determination of potential doses to humans and the environment especially in the vicinity of the PPs requires further studies.

Location: 
Physicum B103
Event category: