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   Table of Contents - Current issue
July-September & October-December 2020
Volume 43 | Issue 3 & 4
Page Nos. 121-187

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New nuclear projects: Public perception in general p. 121

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A qualitative analysis of iodine prophylaxis predistribution as a viable strategy in nuclear emergency preparedness p. 123
Anirudh Chandra, Murali Seshadri Iyengar, Probal Chaudhury
Off-site nuclear emergency preparedness and response plans have conventionally focused on sheltering, stable iodine prophylaxis, and evacuation of residents as the primary short-term protective actions. Among these, the effectiveness of administering stable iodine prophylaxis has been affirmed over the years, by its ability to reduce intake of radioiodine and minimize the incidence of thyroid cancer in the administered population. The hypothesis of this study was that an advance distribution of prophylaxis, also called predistribution, to households during the preparedness stage is justified. To validate this hypothesis, we carried out a systematic literature review of existing studies on this topic. We also used multi-attribute utility theory to select relevant literature as per the criteria specific to this study. A detailed qualitative analysis was carried out to find the evidence that either substantiated or disproved our hypothesis. We found that over the years, there has been a steady increase in the number of articles advocating a predistribution strategy, especially following nuclear accidents. The most commonly held views against predistribution were as follows: (i) it would lead to accidental ingestion or possible overdose, (ii) it would be misplaced and not serve its purpose at the time of emergency, and (iii) it would not be cost-effective to implement such a distribution. The most common arguments supporting the hypothesis were as follows: (i) it offered maximum effectiveness as it could be immediately administered upon declaration of emergency, (ii) it reduces risk to the first responders who may otherwise be involved in distribution, and (iii) it serves as a last mode of radiation protection when consumed immediately and all other protective actions fail. This study found overwhelming evidence in support of the hypothesis, and hence, we suggest that a predistribution strategy for prophylactics is justified on the grounds of effective and timely radiation protection.
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Assessment of 235U and 234U concentration in confiscated uranium samples by alpha- and gamma-ray spectrometry techniques p. 134
Amar Dutt Pant, Anilkumar S Pillai, Narayani Krishnan, Amit Kumar Verma
Identification and assessment of the isotopic composition of confiscated uranium are of very much concern when it enters the public domain. This paper describes the methodology used for the estimation of 235U and 234U concentration in five uranium samples using alpha and gamma spectrometry, and the results are compared with that of mass spectrometry technique. The activity ratio of 238U to 235U is obtained from the measurement on the 185 keV gamma-line of 235U and 1001 keV gamma-line of 234mPa. The isotopic abundance of 235U in the confiscated sample using radioanalytical techniques was found in the range of 0.22%–0.24%.
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Ingestion dose due to 226Ra, 228Ra, and 40K in the plant origin food materials grown around BARC, Visakhapatnam p. 140
P Padma Savitri, T Samba Murty, J Sudhakar, NS Krishna, SK Sahoo, Anil Gupta, A Vinod Kumar
Naturally occurring radionuclides of uranium, thorium series, and potassium are significant contributors of ingestion dose. Radioactive concentrations of 226Ra, 228Ra, and 40K in plant origin food cultivated around BARC, Visakhapatnam, were determined and the assessment of the ingestion dose through food consumption to different groups of population was estimated. Radionuclides in the samples analyzed were measured by high purity germanium gamma spectrometry system. The estimated annual effective dose from the ingestion of cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, and leafy vegetables due to 226Ra, 228Ra, and 40K radionuclides is 0.32 mSv. In this paper the estimated annual effective dose in the study area is compared to the ingestion dose due to intake of different food materials by various natural radionuclides reported in various parts of India and world. The data generated will be a useful baseline studies for the upcoming BARC facilities at Visakhapatnam, India.
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Nonconjugated conductive polymers for protection against nuclear radiation including radioactive iodine p. 148
Mrinal Thakur
Nonconjugated conductive polymers have unique characteristics for providing protection against nuclear radiation including radioactive iodine (carcinogenic) which remains in vapor phase at and above room temperature and is difficult to contain. When iodine comes in contact with such a polymer, a charge-transfer occurs between the double bond and iodine, and as a consequence, the iodine atoms become bound to the polymer chain. Large films/sheets of these polymers covering nuclear reactors and waste storage facilities will act as effective shields against radioactive iodine since iodine atoms will be captured by these polymers and will not be able to escape to the environment. In addition, apparels made of these polymers will reduce exposure to radioactive iodine for doctors, nurses, attendees, and visitors during and after radioiodine therapy of thyroid patients. Thus, these polymeric shields should protect lives and the environment and reduce or avoid the exposure to humans in case of iodine releases from nuclear reactors: in normal day-to-day operations, due to accidents, and in disasters up to the magnitude of Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl.
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Shielding designing of 241Am-Be neutron source housing experiment and Monte Carlo simulation p. 154
AK Bakshi, S Chatterjee, Sandipan Dawn, Mudit Beck, T Palani Selvam
Shielding of a neutron source housing for 1 Ci 241Am-Be source has been designed and fabricated based on the simulation carried out using Monte Carlo code FLUKA. Neutron and photon dose equivalent rates at the surface and at 1 m distance from the surface of the housing were calculated using FLUKA simulation and measured using gamma and neutron dose rate meters. The calculated and measured gamma and neutron dose equivalent rates agree well. Neutron spectra outside the source housing were generated using FLUKA simulation and measured with the ROSPEC + simple scintillation spectrometer neutron spectrometry system and also agree reasonably well. Gamma spectra outside the source housing and residual activity due to activation products in stainless steel and lead of the housing were also generated through simulation.
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Spatial mapping and radiometric survey of high background radiation areas in Southern Tamil Nadu, India p. 162
Kamesh Viswanathan Baskaran, Kantha Deivi Arunachalam
Southern Tamil Nadu has placer deposits, which is rich in minerals like zircon, garnet, monazite and rutile containing with radionuclides of U, Th and their decayed products. The present study is to identify the high background radiation areas in the regions of South west–east coast of Tamil Nadu. The ground radiometric survey was conducted in different seasons using portable radiation survey meter and global positioning system. Total of 137 observation spots were marked from 5 blocks for repeat measurements. Then calculated for the outdoor effective external terrestrial dose to the public residing in these blocks. The survey found average absorbed dose rate of block in this order 3>2> 4>1>5 (1394, 641, 247, 225, 167 nGy/h, respectively). From the data, a spatial mapping was performed for seasonal variation and interpolated for the unknown areas of dose rate. The outdoor effective dose to the public was found to be 1.66> 0.79>0.31>0.27>0.20 mSv/y with respective blocks. Conclusion: The dose to public was found to be lower, when compared with other high background radiation areas in the world. Therefore, there is no significant radiological risks to the public from natural radiation exposure.
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Occurrence of radon contamination in ground water samples of Amritsar city, Punjab, India p. 171
Sumit Sharma, Kamaljeet Kaur, Amanpreet Kaur, Ajay Kumar
In the current examination, the ingestion and inhalation dose measurements for the particular body organs in light of the intake of radon through ground water used by the inhabitants have been surveyed in the various locations of Amritsar province, India, using an electrostatic collection type radon monitor (RAD7) analyzer with RAD-H2O accessory. The mean radon activity level in water was seen to be 5.93 ± 2.34 BqL-1. However, the radiation dose received by all different body organs significantly less than the UNSCEAR and WHO suggested a level of 100 μSvY-1. The annual effective dose for the diverse body organs in view of the intake of radon was additionally ascertained and found the maximum dose for lungs than other organs. The radiation dose received by bronchial epithelium by the means of inhalation was likewise high when contrasted with that by stomach walls through ingestion.
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Radium content and radon exhalation rates in Egyptian soil samples using active and passive techniques p. 179
Ahmed Saad Omar
In this study, we look at radium content in soil samples collected from different locations in Egypt which have been measured using active gamma ray spectrometry with high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector and the passive sealed cup technique with LR-115 nuclear track detectors. Furthermore, the radon exhalation rates (mass and area) were measured using passive technique with LR-115 detectors. This investigation was undertaken to evaluate the possible health risks posed by the elements in question. Radium content values were found to vary from 20.83 to 47.57 Bq/kg with an average value of 32.46 ± 7.75 Bq/kg and 17.30 to 42.70 Bq/kg with an average 29.15 ± 6.75 Bq/kg using HPGe and LR-115 detectors, respectively. Area (surface) exhalation rate values were found to vary from 2.88 × 10-6 to 8.53 × 10-6 Bq/m2/h with an average value of 5.75 × 10-6 Bq /m2/h. Mass exhalation rate values were found to vary from 42.9 × 10-9 to 128 × 10-9 Bq/kg/h with an average value of 78.7 × 10-9 Bq/kg/h. All the results obtained in this particular study were found to be less than their corresponding world limits. Overall, the present results have revealed that radium content and both area and mass exhalation rates in the studied area do not pose a risk to human health. The results were compared nationally and with various other countries.
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Some information on dirty bomb p. 185
Vijay Manchanda
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