A selected group of about 20 male researchers at the NIRS that reside in Chiba, Japan, was measured for total body content of radiocesium and 40K every 3 mo from February 1986 to May 1991. A whole-body counter at the NIRS was used to measure their radioactivity in a scanning mode of 5 cm min-1 in a shielded iron room with walls 20 cm in thickness. A maximum radiocesium level of 59 Bq was observed in May 1987. The annual change in the body burden decreased with an apparent half-time of 1.8 y after May 1987. The period of five years was sufficient to eliminate the effects of the accident in this group. Even in the most contaminated period, the dose from radiocesium was below 2 microSv y-1. The cumulative dose for 5 y was estimated to be 5.6 microSv, which is nearly equal to the total dose to the Japanese people caused by the artificial radionuclide fallout for the first year following the accident. It is much smaller than the committed dose of 82 microSv for internally deposited 137Cs resulting from nuclear explosions in 1961 and 1962 and the annual dose of 170 microSv from internal 40K. No detectable health risk was expected for the present group.
Long-term whole-body monitoring of radionuclides in residents of the Urals Region has been performed at the Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine (URCRM, Chelyabinsk). Quantification of 40K was achieved by measuring the 40K photopeak with four phoswich detectors in whole body counter SICH-9.1M. The current study presents the results of 40K measurements in 3,651 women and 1,961 t-test; U-test men aged 11-90; measurements were performed in 2006-2014. The residents belonged to two ethnic groups, Turkic (Tatar, Bashkir) and Slavs (mainly Russian). The levels of 40K-body contents depend upon gender, age, and body mass. Significant ethnic-differences were not found in 40K-body contents and 40K concentrations in terms of Bq per kg of body weight (in groups homogenous by age and gender). Both 40K-body contents and concentrations were significantly higher in men than in women in all age-groups; the difference was about 25%. The measured 40K-body content in men of 20-50 years was about 4200 Bq (134 g of K) and about 3000 Bq (95 g of K) in women. By the age of 80 these values decreased to 3200 Bq (102 g of K) in men and 2500 Bq (80 g of K) in women. Annual dose rates were maximal in the age group of 20-30 years- 0.16 mGy/y for men and 0.13 mGy/y for women. Further, the dose-rates decreased with age and in the groups of 60-80 years were 0.13 mGy/y for men and 0.10 mGy/y for women. Within groups homogeneous by age and gender, individual dose rates are described by a normal statistical distribution. The coefficient of variation ranges from 9 to 14%, and on the average is 12.5%. Doses from naturally occurring 40K accumulated over 70 years were found to be 9.9 mGy for men and 8.3 mGy for women; over 90 years - 12.5 and 10.4 mGy.
Total diet samples were collected to estimate dietary intakes of several radionuclides for Ukrainian males by duplicate portion studies. The samples were collected in the Kiev, Rovno and Volynsky regions in autumn of 1994. Some foodstuffs, including milk and potato, were also collected in the same regions. Daily intakes of 232Th and 238U were estimated to be 2.0 mBq and 7.5 mBq per person, respectively. The estimated daily intake of 40K, 85 Bq per person, was equivalent to that of Reference Man (the intake of a West European and a North American). Daily intakes of 137Cs were found to be quite different between some regions. Daily intakes were 1.8 Bq per person in the Kiev region and 12 Bq per person in the Rovno and Volynsky regions. Daily intake of 134Cs was below 1 Bq per person.
An early warning system for detection of increased levels of radioactivity in outdoor air was operative between 2004 and 2011 at the Swedish air sampling stations. The system consisted of a low resolution detector (NaI), positioned directly behind the filter and measurement of the accumulated radioactivity were performed continuously. An evaluation of the data collected during the period is presented with emphasis on natural occurring radionuclides and their influence on the detectability of anthropogenic radionuclides.
In this paper, an adaptation of a spectral profile analysis method, currently used in high-resolution spectrometry, to airborne gamma measurements is presented. A new algorithm has been developed for extraction of full absorption peaks by studying the variations in the spectral profile of data recorded with large-volume NaI detectors (16 l) with a short sampling time (2 s). The use of digital filters, taking into consideration the characteristics of the absorption peaks, significantly reduced the counting fluctuations, making detection possible based on study of the first and second derivatives. The absorption peaks are then obtained by modelling, followed by subtraction of the Compton continuum in the detection window. Compared to the conventional stripping ratio method, spectral profile analysis offers similar performance for the natural radioelements. The 137Cs 1SD detection limit is approximately 1200 Bq/m2 in a natural background of 200 Bq/kg 40K, 33 Bq/kg 238U and 33 Bq/kg 232Th. At low energy the very high continuum leads to detection limits similar to those obtained by the windows method, but the results obtained are more reliable. In the presence of peak overlaps, however, analysis of the spectral profile alone is not sufficient to separate the peaks, and further processing is necessary. Within the framework of environmental monitoring studies, spectral profile analysis is of great interest because it does not require any assumptions about the nature of the nuclides. The calculation of the concentrations from the results obtained is simple and reliable, since only the full absorption contributions are taken into consideration. A quantitative estimate of radioactive anomalies can thus be obtained rapidly.
In order to estimate current external gamma doses to the population of the Russian territories contaminated as a result of the Chernobyl accident, absorbed gamma-dose rates in air (DR) were determined at typical urban and suburban locations. The study was performed in the western districts of the Bryansk Region within the areas of 30 settlements (28 villages and 2 towns) with the initial levels of 137Cs deposition ranging from 13 to 4340 kBqm(-2). In the towns, the living areas considered were private one-story wooden and stone houses. DR values were derived from in situ measurements performed with the help of gamma-dosimeters and gamma-spectrometers as well as from the results of soil samples analysis. In the areas under study, the values of DR from terrestrial radionuclides were 25+/-6, 24+/-5, 50+/-10, 32+/-6, 54+/-11, 24+/-8, 20+/-6, 25+/-8, and 18+/-5 nGyh(-1) at locations of kitchen gardens, dirt surfaces, asphalt surfaces, wooden houses, stone houses, grasslands inside settlement, grasslands outside settlement, ploughed fields, and forests, respectively. In 1996-2001, mean normalized (per MBqm(-2) of 137Cs current inventory in soil) values of DR from (137)Cs were 0.41+/-0.07, 0.26+/-0.13, 0.15+/-0.07, 0.10+/-0.05, 0.05+/-0.04, 0.48+/-0.12, 1.04+/-0.22, 0.37+/-0.07, and 1.15+/-0.19 microGyh(-1) at the locations of kitchen gardens, dirt surfaces, asphalt surfaces, wooden houses, stone houses, grasslands inside settlement, grasslands outside settlement, ploughed fields, and forests, respectively. The radiometric data from this work and the values of occupancy factors determined for the Russian population by others were used for the assessments of annual effective doses to three selected groups of rural population. The normalized (per MBqm(-2) 137Cs current ground deposition) external effective doses to adults from 137Cs ranged from 0.66 to 2.27 mSvy(-1) in the years 1996-2001, in accordance with professional activities and structures of living areas. For the areas under study, the average external effective doses from 137Cs were estimated to be in the range of 0.39-1.34 mSvy(-1) in 2001. The average external effective doses from natural radionuclides appeared to be lower than those from the Chernobyl fallout ranging from 0.15 to 0.27 mSvy(-1).
During the years 1996-2000, eight whole-body counting facilities (WBC) from Finland, Germany, Japan and Russia took part in an intercomparison using a resident of the Russian town of Novozybkov who had been seriously contaminated as a result of the Chernobyl accident. The subject R (adult male, height 172 cm average body mass 64 kg; and 137Cs body burden within the range of 1-15 kBq) was investigated in the participating institutions during his business trips. The experimentally obtained data for his 137Cs body burden were compared with the predicted values, which had been deduced from the measurements of subject R using the reference WBC (St Petersburg Institute of Radiation Hygiene) and from his effective half-time of 137Cs in the body (68 days). The obtained results did not deviate more than 20% from reference activities. Four facilities were able to quantity the 40K in the subject's body. The differences between reported values of potassium did not exceed 10%. For subject R, the average annual effective dose from radiocaesium was 0.25 mSv and it was 0.18 mSv from 40K in the years 1996/97. The reliability of using a subject with naturally incorporated artificial radionuclides ('walking standard') instead of an anthropomorphous phantom for calibration and intercomparison of whole-body counters in a large-scale nuclear accident is discussed.
Since 1986, the year of the Chernobyl accident, 137Cs body burdens of members of a Bavarian reference group have been measured monthly. These time series were individually analyzed with respect to the long-term component T1 of the biological half-life of 137Cs, assuming a continuous 137Cs intake, which is based on reference data for the food consumption in the Federal Republic of Germany. In 13 individual cases, T1 was additionally deduced after single ingestion of 137Cs. The resulting T1 deduced from continuous and from single intake agreed within about 20%. Using the results of 64 cases, it is shown that there is a dependency of T1 with sex for adults. T1 for children and adults are also significantly different. When combining all data for children, adult females and adult males, significant correlations of T1 with age, 40K and body mass can be found. Since body mass, for example, is a parameter very simple to measure, the given correlations are useful for practical purposes.
The reference level for effective dose due to gamma radiation from building materials and construction products used for dwellings is set to 1 mSv per year (EC, 1996, 1999), (CE, 2014). Given the specific conditions presented by the EC in report 112 (1999) considering building and construction materials, an I-index of 1 may generate an effective dose of 1 mSv per year. This paper presents a comparison of the activity concentrations of (4)(0)K, (226)Ra and (232)Th of aggregates and when these aggregates constitute a part of concrete. The activity concentration assessment tool for building and construction materials, the I-index, introduced by the EC in 1996, is used in the comparison. A comparison of the I-indices values are also made with a recently presented dose model by Hoffman (2014), where density variations of the construction material and thickness of the construction walls within the building are considered. There was a ~16-19% lower activity index in concretes than in the corresponding aggregates. The model by Hoffman further implies that the differences between the I-indices of aggregates and the concretes' final effective doses are even larger. The difference is due, mainly to a dilution effect of the added cement with low levels of natural radioisotopes, but also to a different and slightly higher subtracted background value (terrestrial value) used in the modeled calculation of the revised I-index by Hoffman (2014). Only very minimal contributions to the annual dose could be related to the water and additives used, due to their very low content of radionuclides reported.
In October 1990 a Netherlands humanitarian fact finding mission on aid to people affected by the Chernobyl disaster visited contaminated regions in Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine. The mission consisted of medical, socio-psychological and agricultural experts. The results of radioactivity measurements on food products sampled in the contaminated areas are reported here and the radiation burden for the Soviet citizens due to these products is discussed. The radiocaesium contamination measured in 19 food products ranged between 0 and 170 Bq kg-1 and 40K from 25 to 200 Bq kg-1 in the fresh product. Strontium-90, measured in a few samples, was found to be between 1.8 and 30 Bq kg-1. Mushrooms and reindeer moss were very highly contaminated: from 103,000 to 284,000 Bq kg-1 of radiocaesium in the fresh product. Strontium-90 in these samples was 7.8-1550 Bq kg-1. The contamination of all food products was far below the stated limits, except for mushrooms. Extrapolation of the results to the total food consumption gave the radioactive burden due to this food as an estimated 0.2 mSv per year. All of the food products investigated, except mushrooms, can be regarded as safe with respect to radioactive contamination. In addition to sampling agricultural produce, field exposure measurements were also carried out. The measured values, expressed in equivalent doses, ranged from 1.8 to 14 mSv per year at a height of 1 m, with a median value of about 4 mSv per year.