The Nuclear and Radiological Control Authority, through a new regulation, set the national standards for drinking water and implementation activities on groundwater treated by various physical and chemical techniques. The regulation revealed that the target audience are individuals and organizations that manage radioactivity risks in the drinking water supply industries. The draft – of which Okaz obtained a copy – stressed that the regulation is not intended to be applied in cases of nuclear and radiological emergencies resulting from radioactive contamination of water. Radionuclides in drinking water can arise from natural or artificial sources, and many radionuclides occur in nature. Including in rocks and soils, therefore, the concentrations of radionuclides in drinking water are likely to result from groundwater sources. Natural radionuclides that arise from the decay series elements of thorium and uranium are of particular interest to human exposure to radiation from drinking water.
The regulation added: Synthetic radionuclides are found in water from several sources, such as accidental or regular discharges from nuclear facilities, discharges of radionuclides produced and used in medicine or industry, discharges from military activities, and the global dispersion of nuclear weapon fallout.
The regulations stressed that drinking water must continue to be monitored at the sites and frequencies that have been agreed upon with the water quality regulator for radiological parameters and if it is suspected that the water may contain radionuclides that will not be detected by screening methods that will not be detected by total screening methods. The regulation stressed the need to make measurements of radionuclides and compare them with the indicative values.