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Determination of natural and artificial radioactivity of Lake Balaton

Edit Bokori, Judit Guczi, Antonio Capote, Endre Kurtács, Gyula Szabó, Ágota Ugron

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To the general public Lake Balaton means the large lake situated in the central western part of Hungary. Lake Balaton is unquestionably one Hungary’s greatest natural assets. Her importance is based on the different use of the lake and surroundings, namely recreation, tourism, fisheries, industrial water source etc. So it was an important task to determine the classical water quality of the lake. Unfortunately, there has not been any organization dealing with the radioecological monitoring of Lake Balaton. In our work we have investigated the natural and artificial radioactivity in Lake Balaton. We have determined the concentration of natural (228Ac, 234Th, 226Ra, 40K) and man-made (3H, 137Cs, 90Sr) radionuclides in water-, sediment-, aquatic plan-, and fish-samples. These samples were taken on 13 different places in two different times (starting vegetation, finishing vegetation).

In the following table either the obtained data are summarized or some activity concentration recommended by WHO for drinking water. For comparison we show some data obtained in different surface water samples in Hungary.

  Recommended activity concentration for drinking water
Lake Balaton
Other surface water
River Danube
Gross-beta 1000 161-637 165-424 66-360
137Cs   < 0.6-4.8 < 1 < 1
90Sr   0.7-12.9 3-4 2-3
40K   78-227 133-220 44-85
3H 105 200-1700 700-1800 800-4100

Revision: 01-09-2004