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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 90-94

Choosing an appropriate method for measurement of 232Th in environmental samples


1 Radiation safety Systems Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay; Homi Bhabha National Institute, TSH Complex, Anushakti Nagar, Mumbai, India
2 Radiation safety Systems Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
R S Sathyapria
Radiation Safety Systems Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Trombay, Mumbai - 400 085, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/rpe.RPE_20_17

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The article discusses the anomalies in using gamma spectrometry for the determination of 232Th in environmental samples against other methods. 232Th in environmental samples (soil, sediment, etc.,) is measured using several techniques, the most commonly used are gamma spectrometry, neutron activation analysis (NAA), and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. However, gamma spectrometry measurement is based on the assumption that 232Th is in secular equilibrium with its progenies, which is often not true, particularly in the case of vegetation and biological samples. Food samples collected from a high background radiation area in Tamil Nadu, India, were analyzed for 232Th by gamma spectrometry and NAA. This paper gives details of measurements and results obtained from both NAA and gamma spectrometry. 232Th activity concentration determined using gamma spectrometry was an order or two higher than those measured using NAA indicating an extreme overestimation of 232Th by gamma spectrometry technique.


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