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International Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 501856, 4 pages
Research Article

Natural Radioactivity in Soil and Water from Likuyu Village in the Neighborhood of Mkuju Uranium Deposit

Department of Physics, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35063, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Received 28 February 2013; Accepted 9 May 2013

Academic Editor: Xiaolin Hou

Copyright © 2013 Najat K. Mohammed and Mohamed S. Mazunga. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The discovery of high concentration uranium deposit at Mkuju, southern part of Tanzania, has brought concern about the levels of natural radioactivity at villages in the neighborhood of the deposit. This study determined the radioactivity levels of 30 soil samples and 20 water samples from Likuyu village which is 54 km east of the uranium deposit. The concentrations of the natural radionuclides 238U, 232Th, and 40K were determined using low level gamma spectrometry of the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC) Laboratory in Arusha. The average radioactivity concentrations obtained in soil samples for 238U (51.7 Bq/kg), 232Th (36.4 Bq/kg), and 40K (564.3 Bq/kg) were higher than the worldwide average concentrations value of these radionuclides reported by UNSCEAR, 2000. The average activity concentration value of 238U (2.35 Bq/L) and 232Th (1.85 Bq/L) in water samples was similar and comparable to their mean concentrations in the control sample collected from Nduluma River in Arusha.