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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
January-March 2021
Volume 44 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 1-57

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GUEST EDITORIAL  

Is as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) concept relevant to low-dose exposures? p. 1
MR Iyer
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_10_21  
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES Top

Gross alpha and gross beta radioactivity measurements in groundwater from Nasarawa North district Nasarawa state Nigeria p. 3
Samuel Odumu Ogana John, Timothy Chidozie Akpa, Rose Ada Onoja
DOI:10.4103/rpe.RPE_24_20  
Gross alpha and gross beta radioactivity in 40 groundwater (borehole and well water) samples from Akwanga, Wamba and N/Eggon Areas of Nasarawa North District, Nasarawa State Nigeria was measured using the low background MPC2000B DP model Gross Alpha/Beta counter (ORTEC®-Protean Instrument Corporation). The values of gross alpha activity in this study were observed to be less than those of gross beta activity. The average activity values of gross alpha and gross beta obtained were 0.25 ± 0.04 Bq/L and 2.23 ± 0.09 Bq/L for Akwanga, 0.19 ± 0.03 Bq/L and 1.62 ± 0.08 Bq/L for Wamba and 0.30 ± 0.05 Bq/L and 3.00 ± 0.14 Bq/L for N/Eggon areas, respectively. The results are found to be below the World Health Organization guideline levels for drinking water quality of 0.5 Bq/L for gross alpha but 45% of the samples slightly exceeded the 1.0 Bq/L for gross beta. This implied that the groundwater in the study area is radiologically safe for consumption and may not pose any significant health hazards to humans by way of ingestion. The groundwater from the study area is also safe for drinking as the total dissolved solids average values were below the contamination limit for palatable drinking water guideline level of 1000 mg/L. However, a radionuclide-specific test and a regular monitoring program of the environment are hereby suggested.
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Studies on natural and fallout radioactivity mapping of the proposed Mithivirdi Atomic Power Project Site in Bhavnagar District, Gujarat, India p. 12
Akhaya Kumar Patra, TJ Jaison, SS Wagh, MK Jha, IV Saradhi, A Vinod Kumar
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_5_21  
The activity and gamma-absorbed dose rate due to the naturally occurring (226Ra, 232Th, and 40K) and anthropogenic (137Cs) radionuclides in the terrestrial environment were determined in soil samples collected around Mithivirdi Atomic Power Project Site, Bhavnagar District, Gujarat, by using gamma-ray spectrometry. The mean concentration levels measured in soil from the naturally occurring radioisotopes 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K are lower than the corresponding global average values reported worldwide. 137Cs activity in the soil sample is comparable with the preoperational baseline level activity of other nuclear power plant sites in India. The total outdoor effective dose rates due to soil ranged 16.7–79.5 μSv/y with the median value of 34.3 μSv/y. The absorbed dose rate due to cosmic components around Mithivirdi site was found to be in the range of 44.4–90.6 nGy/h.
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Development of a desktop radiation monitoring system p. 19
Vaishali M Thakur, Amit Jain, Pravin Sawant, P Ashokkumar, LM Chaudhari, Probal Chaudhury
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_6_21  
This article presents the design and development of a digital desktop gamma radiation monitoring system using Geiger–Muller tube detector and microcontroller. The radiation detector, battery, signal processing circuits, and the microcontroller board are housed inside a tabletop wooden model with an analog watch and a digital display of radiation dose rate. The alarm level has been set at 1 μSv/h and indicated through buzzer and LED. The system has been calibrated using 137Cs standard source and has a sensitivity of 0.7364 cps/μSv/h. This model can be displayed on any table/desk or kept near a doorway to continuously monitor background radiation level, without drawing public attention, to detect any movement or presence of radiation source.
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Dosimetric comparison of coplanar intensity-modulated radiotherapy, noncoplanar intensity-modulated radiotherapy, and volumetric arc therapy planning technique in hippocampal-sparing whole-brain radiotherapy p. 22
Ajay Vindhyachal Sharma, Priyusha Bagdare, Pranav Chadha, Pragya Shree, Mohini Gupta, Rajkumar Chauhan, Isha Jaiswal, Kaustav Talapatra
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_48_20  
The aim of this study was to compare the dosimetric parameters of Co-planar Intensity modulated radiotherapy (C-IMRT), non-coplanar (NC-IMRT), and volumetric arc therapy (VMAT) planning technique in hippocampal sparing (HS) whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT). Fifteen patients of brain metastasis (BM) treated with hippocampal sparing whole-brain palliative radiation were selected for this study. C-IMRT, NC-IMRT and VMAT plans were generated for the comparison. Generated plans were evaluated based on planning target volume (PTV) coverage, conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI), beam-on time (BOT) and dose delivered to organs at risk (OARs) for the prescribed dose (PD) of 30 Gy in 10 fractions. Statistically significant difference was found in PTVD95%, PTVmax, HI, BOT, MU, Dmax of the brainstem, Dmean of eyes, Dmax of lenses and Dmax, Dmean and D2% of the bilateral hippocampus. However, a non-significant difference was observed in CI, D100% of both the hippocampus, Dmax of the optic chiasm, optic nerves, and Dmax of eyes in all the three planning techniques. Considering the superior plan quality, both NC-IMRT and VMAT are better than the C-IMRT planning technique. Based on beam-on time and delivery efficiency VMAT is found to be superior to both the C-IMRT and NC-IMRT technique. Doses to OARs are very well within the limits in all the three planning techniques.
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Study of ambient gamma dose levels at national atmospheric research laboratory, Gadanki, India p. 28
K Charan Kumar, T Rajendra Prasad, Nagaraja Kamsali
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_62_20  
Simultaneous observations of ambient gamma dose levels, temperature, relative humidity, and atmospheric pressure were carried out at National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki, India (13.459°N and 79.175°E), from November 2011 to May 2014. The results show that about 92% of ambient gamma dose values lie between 150 and 200 nSv/h and best possible fit resulted in Gaussian fit with adjusted R2 of 0.99. A weak Pearson's correlation coefficient was found between ambient gamma dose levels and selected meteorological parameters measured over the location. No seasonal trend was observed in ambient gamma dose levels, but pronounced seasonal variations in temperature, relative humidity, and air pressure were found. A sudden increase in ambient gamma levels was observed during precipitation event (Nilam cyclone) and may be attributed to an additional contribution of precipitation washed 222Rn progeny aerosols within the atmosphere. The mean ambient gamma dose over NARL was 186 ± 4.3 nSv/h and is within world average given by UNSCEAR.
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Healing efficacy and dermal toxicity of topical silver nanoparticles-loaded hydrogel in Sprague–Dawley rats p. 34
Deepti Sharma, Navneet Sharma, Bal G Roy, Mallika Pathak, Vinod Kumar, Himanshu Ojha
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_51_20  
Traumatic wounds are the wounds that damage both the skin and the underlying tissues. Bacterial load in wounded tissue triggers elongation of the inflammation phase of wound healing. In case of excessive inflammation, the wound may undergo delayed healing that can lead to complications such as sepsis or amputation. In the present work, a hydrogel using green-synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was synthesized and characterized in terms of homogeneity, viscosity, spreadability, excipient compatibility, etc. The hydrogels containing different percentages of AgNPs were tested for healing efficacy in full-thickness excision wound model in adult female Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats. Safety study of hydrogels was performed in SD rats as per the OECD guideline 410. The prepared hydrogels were stable for over 3 months and remain intact on parameters such as homogeneity, pH balance, good spreadability, and extrudability. Healing efficacy study showed that an increased amount of AgNPs in hydrogel enhanced wound contraction over 100% with increased tensile strength and dense aligned collagen fibers in treated wound tissues as compared to standard (silver sulfadiazine), placebo, and sham groups. Dermal toxicity studies showed that there were no signs of irritation, inflammation, and edema on the dorsum of SD rats. Besides, there was no local and systemic toxicity in hydrogel-treated groups.
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Revision of discharge limit of gross beta activity to the aquatic environment based on public dose estimation: An operational study p. 42
Hukum Singh, Teena Goel, Vijay B Kadwad, Pradip Mukherjee
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_56_20  
Low-level liquid effluents generated from Regional Centre, Board of Radiation, and Isotope Technology (BRIT), Delhi, are generally discharged to the aquatic environment after suitable treatment (delay, decay, and dilution for short-lived radionuclides) conforming the regulatory compliance as authorized by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Mumbai. The Regional Center, BRIT-Delhi is generating the liquid effluents containing short-lived radionuclides 99Mo (T1/2−66.7 h) and 99mTc (T1/2−6.02 h) and also long-lived radionuclide 99Tc (T1/2−2.13 × 105 years) from the production of ready to use 99mTc-radiopharmaceuticals as human injectable product. This liquid waste generated during the washing of radioactive contaminated glassware is inorganic in nature and is stored in 02 number of sump tanks (capacity 50 m3 each) for delay and decay of short-lived radionuclides. The center has also planned to produce and supply 68Ga radiopharmaceuticals in future. There is a possibility that some of these radionuclides may reach the drinking water by various natural pathways. The presence of radionuclides in the drinking water above certain level may result in radiation dose to the public through the ingestion pathways. The observance of prescribed radionuclide concentration in waste water, total activity limits, and other basic safety requirements stipulated by the regulatory body help to minimize the public radiation dose. This article is an effort to derive the annual discharge limit for gross β activity at Regional Center, BRIT-Delhi to the aquatic environment of an inland site based on the drinking water standard limits prescribed by the World Health Organization. This article also discusses the effective dose received by the actual discharge of radioactive liquid effluent from the Regional Center, BRIT-Delhi.
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TECHNICAL NOTE Top

Planning, preparedness, and response to nuclear/radiological emergency p. 47
Shashank S Saindane, S Murali, Sanjay D Dhole, NR Karmalkar
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_9_21  
Planning and preparedness for response to any kind of radiation emergency are an evolving and dynamic assignment with expertise developed over a period of time. The lessons learnt in this specialized field are from the past/reported emergencies, guiding documents available on response to radiation emergencies in national/international arena, worldwide security scenario on the use of nuclear and other radioactive material including attempted malicious usage and requirements of national/international regulatory framework. The above sources help us to evolve the planning, preparedness, build response capability, and periodic revision in overall capabilities. Response planning is to mitigate the consequences of nuclear emergency – a low probability, high impact scenario at the sites/general public living in the vicinity of operating nuclear facilities, and radiological emergency – a moderate probability, low impact scenario at any locations in public domain due to typical initiating scenarios – although could be different, most of our radiation emergency response centers, developed, revised to respond to any such challenges and response procedures are evolved, set. This article on planning, preparedness for response to radiation emergency describes the present level of planning and response capability by Department of Atomic Energy, India.
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NEWS AND INFORMATION Top

I. Report on the conduct of virtual conference of IARPNC 2020 (January 21–23, 2021) p. 54
S Murali
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_12_21  
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II. Dr. Srikumar Banerjee: Some fond reminiscences p. 56
MR Iyer
DOI:10.4103/rpe.rpe_17_21  
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