Soil Activity in Western Himalaya

Topics: Ionizing radiation, Radiation poisoning, Background radiation Pages: 13 (4025 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Journal of Radioanalytical and
Nuclear Chemistry
An International Journal Dealing with
All Aspects and Applications of Nuclear
ISSN 0236-5731
Volume 291
Number 3
J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2012)
DOI 10.1007/s10967-011-1349-7
Radiological assessment of natural and
fallout radioactivity in the soil of Chamba
and Dharamshala areas of Himachal
Pradesh, India
S. V. Bara, Vishal Arora,
S. Chinnaesakki, S. J. Sartandel,
B. S. Bajwa, R. M. Tripathi &
V. D. Puranik
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Radiological assessment of natural and fallout radioactivity in the soil of Chamba and Dharamshala areas
of Himachal Pradesh, India
S. V. Bara • Vishal Arora • S. Chinnaesakki •
S. J. Sartandel • B. S. Bajwa • R. M. Tripathi •
V. D. Puranik
Received: 30 June 2011 / Published online: 1 September 2011
 Akade´miai Kiado´, Budapest, Hungary 2011
Abstract This paper presents the results of measurement
of natural and fallout radioactivity in soil samples of
Chamba and Dharamshala areas in Himachal Pradesh,
India. Spatial distribution of 238U, 226Ra, 232Th, 40K, 137Cs was determined using High resolution gamma-ray spectrometry. The mean activity concentration in Chamba
region due to 238U, 232Th, 40K and 137Cs was 32.3, 58.4,
588.3, and 10.9 Bq kg-1, respectively, whereas in Dharamshala it was 35.7, 61.3, 594.9, 10.0 Bq kg-1, respectively.
Absorbed gamma dose rate (D) in air was calculated
using appropriate dose conversion factors, which was
varying from 45 to 103 nGy h-1. To control the radiation
exposure due to natural radioactivity in soil, if it is used as building materials, radium equivalent activity (Raeq) and
activity index were also evaluated. Radium equivalent
activity calculated for the soil ranged from 95.5 to
234.2 Bq kg-1 with average of 171.0 Bq kg-1.The calculated
Activity concentration index was ranged from 0.34 to
0.85 with an average value of 0.64. The natural and fallout
radioactivity in soil of this region is comparable with
Indian average and other parts of the world. The percentage
contribution of 238U, 232Th and 40K and 137Cs to the
average external gamma dose rate was 22, 46, 32, 2%,
respectively. This shows that the dose contribution due to
fallout radioactivity is negligible as compared to the natural radioactivity.
Keywords Gamma spectrometry  HPGe 
Radioactivity  Radiation dose
Human exposure to ionizing radiation is inevitable.
External exposure to radiation arises from natural and man
made radioactivity. Natural background radiation exposure
is mainly caused by primordial radioactivity and cosmic
radiation. Primordial radioactivity is mainly due to the
presence 238U, 232Th series radionuclides and Potassium-40
in the earth’s crust. Cosmic radiation comes through the
earth’s atmosphere, from the sun and galaxies. The primary cosmic radiation interact with the atmospheric matter and
produces cosmogenic radionuclides also known as secondary
cosmic radiation. Gamma radiation dose from
natural sources is of particular importance as natural radiation is the largest contributor to external and internal dose
of world population. The average annual radiation dose to
world population is 2.8 mSv. Over 85% (2.4 mSv) of this
is mainly due to natural radiation sources. Since these radionuclides are not uniformly distributed, the knowledge of
their distribution in soil and rock play an important role in radiation...
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