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  • 1 National Tsing Hua University Institute of Nuclear Science 30043 Hsinchu Taiwan, R.O.C.
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The concentration of radionuclides in environmental samples and the environmental radiation level (including cosmic rays) was monitored on Spratly Islets in South China Sea prior to the commercial operation of nearby Chinese nuclear power plants. Samples of coral sand, sea food, vegetation, water, and accumulated fallout on the islet were obtained and measured for radioactivity. Except for some exposure originating from minute amounts of60Co and137Cs, the radiation background is mainly emitted from naturally occurring radionuclides. Radiation levels including beta, gamma, and neutron on the islet have also monitored. Gamma dose rates for outdoor exposure averaged approximately 0.09 Sv/h; the neutron dose rate was about 0.003 Sv/h. Automatic radiation surveillance and a routine sampling program on the Spratly Islets are viewed as essential to provide an early warning in the Far East in case of a nuclear emergency.