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  • Author or Editor: Y. Ebaid x
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Abstract  

In order to calibrate a gamma-ray spectrometer for radioactivity measurements in environmental samples, it is essential to use standard radioactive sources in the appropriate geometrical configuration. However, the lack of standard sample due to any reason would necessitate the use of reference materials as reliable alternative. They often appear in many matrices and densities. Accordingly, special attention should be drawn towards optimizing the calibration. This work studies the errors encountered because of the attenuation process due to the density difference of the samples (including reference samples) aliquots with identical matrix contents. The highest effect was noticed in the lower energy regions. This study suggests that even for the reference samples with the same matrix, it is necessary to set a recommended density for the measurement process to avoid the errors due to the attenuation. If this is not practically possible it is recommended that attenuation correction due to matrix contents followed by another correction due to density correction would be a reliable approach to reach an optimum calibrating condition.

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Summary  

Measurement of 210Pb has gained a highly scientific attention due to its wide range of environmental applications. The most commonly used analytical techniques: gamma-spectrometry, beta-counting and alpha-spectrometry were used to measure environmental samples (geological, soil, sediment). Our paper is aiming at comparing the capabilities and limits of application of these three different analytical techniques for 210Pb measurement in various environmental samples. In addition, analytical data of 210Pb measurements with the three different techniques (gamma-spectrometry, beta-counting and alpha-spectrometry) are discussed to highlight the degree of comparability and the most probable sources of discrepancies and errors. Based on the demanded investigation, one analytical technique will be chosen for routine analysis, while the other techniques, if they are available, could be used for analytical quality assurance measures. It was essential to compare the analytical efficacy of each technique, which differ concerning the detection limit (MDA), sensitivity, analytical effort, the duration of analysis and waiting time before analysis.

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Abstract  

Soil and vegetation samples from 33 sites within the northwestern area of the River Nile delta in Egypt have been analyzed for natural and man-made radioactivity. Gamma-ray spectrometric measurements were performed where 214Bi and 214Pb were used for 238U-series determinations, while 208Tl and 228Ac were used for 232Th-series determinations. In addition, alpha-spectrometric measurements were also performed for the determination of different isotopes of uranium and plutonium. Other parameters examined included the determination of radium equivalent activities and relationship between the gamma-radiation values and subsequent dose level determinations and the soil types.

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