Determination of the natural radioactivity levels in north west of Dukhan, Qatar using high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry

Huda Al-Sulaiti, Tabassum Nasir, K. S. Al Mugren, N. Alkhomashi, N. Al-Dahan, M. Al-Dosari, D. A. Bradley, S. Bukhari, M. Matthews, P. H. Regan, T. Santawamaitre, D. Malain, A. Habib

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Abstract

This study is aimed at the determination of the activity concentrations of naturally occuring and technologically enhanced levels of radiation in 34 representative soil samples that have been collected from an inshore oil field area which was found to have, in a previous study, the highest observed value of 226Ra concentration among 129 soil samples. The activity concentrations of 238U and 226Ra have been inferred from gamma-ray transitions associated with their decay progenies and measured using a hyper-pure germanium detector. Details of the sample preparation and the gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis techniques are presented, together with the values of the activity concentrations associated with the naturally occuring radionuclide chains for all the samples collected from NW Dukhan. Discrete-line, gamma-ray energy transitions from spectral lines ranging in energy from ~100keV up to 2.6MeV have been associated with characteristic decays of the various decay products within the 235.8U and 232Th radioactive decay chains. These data have been analyzed, under the assumption of secular equilibrium for the U and Th decay chains. Details of the sample preparation and the gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis techniques are presented. The weighted mean value of the activity concentrations of 226Ra in one of the samples was found to be around a factor of 2 higher than the values obtained in the previous study and approximately a factor of 10 higher than the accepted worldwide average value of 35Bq/kg. The weighted mean values of the activity concentrations of 232Th and 40K were also deduced and found to be within the worldwide average values of 30 and 400Bq/kg, respectively. Our previous study reported a value of 201.9±1.5 Stat.±13 Syst.Bq/kg for 226Ra in one sample and further investigation in the current work determined a measured value for 226Ra of 342.00±1.9 Stat.±25 Syst.Bq/kg in a sample taken from the same locality. This is significantly higher than all the other investigated soil samples in the current and previous works. Notably, the Th levels in the same sample are within the worldwide average expectations, implying that the increased 226Ra concentration arises from TENORM processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1344-1350
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Volume70
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

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Keywords

  • Activity concentrations
  • Gamma spectrometry
  • NORM
  • Ra
  • Soil radioactivity
  • U

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation

Cite this

Al-Sulaiti, H., Nasir, T., Al Mugren, K. S., Alkhomashi, N., Al-Dahan, N., Al-Dosari, M., Bradley, D. A., Bukhari, S., Matthews, M., Regan, P. H., Santawamaitre, T., Malain, D., & Habib, A. (2012). Determination of the natural radioactivity levels in north west of Dukhan, Qatar using high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 70(7), 1344-1350. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2011.11.015