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In Situ Gamma-ray Spectrometry Using an LaBr3(Ce) Scintillation Detector

  • Received : 2018.06.15
  • Accepted : 2018.08.27
  • Published : 2018.09.30

Abstract

Background: A variety of inorganic scintillators have been developed and improved for use in radiation detection and measurement, and in situ gamma-ray spectrometry in the environment remains an important area in nuclear safety. In order to verify the feasibility of promising scintillators in an actual environment, a performance test is necessary to identify gamma-ray peaks and calculate the radioactivity from their net count rates in peaks. Materials and Methods: Among commercially available scintillators, $LaBr_3(Ce)$ scintillators have so far shown the highest energy resolution when detecting and identifying gamma-rays. However, the intrinsic background of this scintillator type affects efficient application to the environment with a relatively low count rate. An algorithm to subtract the intrinsic background was consequently developed, and the in situ calibration factor at 1 m above ground level was calculated from Monte Carlo simulation in order to determine the radioactivity from the measured net count rate. Results and Discussion: The radioactivity of six natural radionuclides in the environment was evaluated from in situ gamma-ray spectrometry using an $LaBr_3(Ce)$ detector. The results were then compared with those of a portable high purity Ge (HPGe) detector with in situ object counting system (ISOCS) software at the same sites. In addition, the radioactive cesium in the ground of Jeju Island, South Korea, was determined with the same assumption of the source distribution between measurements using two detectors. Conclusion: Good agreement between both detectors was achieved in the in situ gamma-ray spectrometry of natural as well as artificial radionuclides in the ground. This means that an $LaBr_3(Ce)$ detector can produce reliable and stable results of radioactivity in the ground from the measured energy spectrum of incident gamma-rays at 1 m above the ground.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : NRF

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