Health risk assessment for soil radioactivity around Shidaowan nuclear power plant in Shandong, China

Wei Zhang, Chenyang Qi, David Lim, Xianpeng Zhang, Rihong Gao, Zhihui Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monitoring radioactivity levels in the environment around nuclear power plants is of great significance to assessing environmental safety and impact. Shidaowan nuclear power plant is currently undergoing commissioning; however, the baseline soil radioactivity is unknown. The naturally occurring radionuclides 238U, 232Th, 226Ra and 40K, and artificial radionuclide (AR) 137Cs in soil samples around the Shidaowan nuclear power plant were measured to establish the baseline levels. Human health hazard indices such as external hazard indices (Hex), Radium equivalent (Raeq), outdoor absorbed dose rate (Dout), annual effective dose (AED) and excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) were estimated. The average concentration of 232Th, 40K, 137Cs, 238U and 226Ra were 42.6 ± 15, 581 ± 131, 0.68 ± 0.38, 40.13 ± 9.07 and 40.8 ± 12.8 Bq per kg, respectively. The average Hex, Raeq, Dout, AED and ELCR were 0.40, 146 Bq per kg, 68.8 nGy per h, 0.09 mSv per y and 3.29E-04, respectively. These data showed an acceptable level of risk to residents near the nuclear power plant and that the current radioactivity in the soil may not pose immediate harm to residents living close to the nuclear power plant. The observed lower AED and 40 K and 137Cs concentrations were comparable to other studies, whilst ELCR was higher than the world average of 2.9E-04. The commissioning of the Shidaowan nuclear power plant is potentially safe for the surrounding residents; further continuous monitoring is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-563
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Early online date6 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • radioactivity
  • soil radioactivity
  • environmental safety
  • community health
  • soil sampling


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