Statistical Analysis of Count Rate Data for On-line Seawater Radioactivity Monitoring

  • Received : 2019.05.07
  • Accepted : 2019.06.17
  • Published : 2019.06.30


Background: It is very difficult to distinguish between a radioactive contamination source and background radiation from natural radionuclides in the marine environment by means of online monitoring system. The objective of this study was to investigate a statistical process for triggering abnormal level of count rate data measured from our on-line seawater radioactivity monitoring. Materials and Methods: Count rate data sets in time series were collected from 9 monitoring posts. All of the count rate data were measured every 15 minutes from the region of interest (ROI) for $^{137}Cs$ ($E_{\gamma}=661.6keV$) on the gamma-ray energy spectrum. The Shewhart ($3{\sigma}$), CUSUM, and Bayesian S-R control chart methods were evaluated and the comparative analysis of determination methods for count rate data was carried out in terms of the false positive incidence rate. All statistical algorithms were developed using R Programming by the authors. Results and Discussion: The $3{\sigma}$, CUSUM, and S-R analyses resulted in the average false positive incidence rate of $0.164{\pm}0.047%$, $0.064{\pm}0.0367%$, and $0.030{\pm}0.018%$, respectively. The S-R method has a lower value than that of the $3{\sigma}$ and CUSUM method, because the Bayesian S-R method use the information to evaluate a posterior distribution, even though the CUSUM control chart accumulate information from recent data points. As the result of comparison between net count rate and gross count rate measured in time series all the year at a monitoring post using the $3{\sigma}$ control charts, the two methods resulted in the false positive incidence rate of 0.142% and 0.219%, respectively. Conclusion: Bayesian S-R and CUSUM control charts are better suited for on-line seawater radioactivity monitoring with an count rate data in time series than $3{\sigma}$ control chart. However, it requires a continuous increasing trend to differentiate between a false positive and actual radioactive contamination. For the determination of count rate, the net count method is better than the gross count method because of relatively a small variation in the data points.


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