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Abstract

X-rays application for radiation processing was introduced to the industrial practice, and in some circumstances is found to be more economically competitive, and offer more flexibility than gamma sources. Recent progress in high-power accelerators development gives opportunity to construct and apply reliable high-power electron beam to X-rays converters for the industrial application. The efficiency of the conversion process depends mainly on electron energy and atomic number of the target material, as it was determined in theoretical predictions and confirmed experimentally. However, the lower price of low-energy direct accelerators and their higher electrical efficiency may also have certain influence on process economy. There are number of auxiliary parameters that can effectively change the economical results of the process. The most important ones are as follows: average beam power level, spare part cost, and optimal shape of electron beam and electron beam utilization efficiency. All these parameters and related expenses may affect the unit cost of radiation facility operation and have a significant influence on X-ray process economy. The optimization of X-rays converter construction is also important, but it does not depend on the type of accelerator. The article discusses the economy of radiation processing with high-intensity of X-rays stream emitted by conversion of electron beams accelerated in direct accelerator (electron energy 2.5 MeV) and resonant accelerators (electron energy 5 MeV and 7.5 MeV). The evaluation and comparison of the costs of alternative technical solutions were included to estimate the unit cost of X-rays facility operation for average beam power 100 kW.

Abstract

The possibility of preparing fission chambers for the experimental determination of subcriticality without time-consuming corrections has been presented. The reactor detectors set consists of monoisotopic chambers. Each chamber is intended for a specific position in the system. Individual weights, rated a priori for all detectors in their positions, allow for quick calculation of whole system subcriticality. The inconveniences related to the spatial effect are minimized. This is achieved by computational simulation of the area method results, for each detector position and all possible fissionable and fissile nuclides. Next, one nuclide is selected, specific for the given position, presenting the smallest difference from the MCNP KCODE precisely estimated kkcode. The case study is made using the model of VENUS-F core.

Abstract

This paper presents the results of long-term investigations of 137Cs and 134Cs activity concentrations in drinking water in the city of Zagreb for the period 1987–2018. The highest activity concentrations of both radio-nuclides were measured in 1987, decreasing exponentially ever since, while 134Cs in several subsequent years fell under the detection limit. After the Fukushima Daiichi accident in 2011, the presence of 134Cs in drinking water was detected again. The environmental residence time for 137Cs was estimated to be 8.1 years in drinking water and 5.7 years in fallout. The correlation between 137Cs in fallout and in drinking water is very good, and this indicates that fallout is the main source of water contamination. The observed 134Cs/137Cs activity ratio in drinking water for the post-Chernobyl period was similar to the ratio found in other environmental samples. The estimation of annual effective doses received by the adult members of the Croatian population due to the intake of radiocaesium in drinking water showed quite small doses of 0.28 μSv in 1987 decreasing to 2.5 nSv in 2018, which indicated that drinking water was not a critical pathway for the transfer of radiocaesium to humans.

Abstract

Source term is the amount of radionuclide activity, measured in becquerels, released to the atmosphere from a nuclear reactor, together with the plume composition, over a specific period. It is the basis of radioprotection-related calculation. Usually, such computations are done using commercial codes; however, they are challenging to be used in the case of the MARIA reactor due to its unique construction. Consequently, there is a need to develop a method that will be able to deliver useful results despite the complicated geometry of the reactor site. Such an approach, based upon the Bateman balance equation, is presented in the article, together with the results of source term calculation for the MARIA reactor. Additionally, atmospheric dispersion of the radionuclides, analysed with the Gauss plume model with dry deposition, is presented.

Abstract

The city of Krakow located in southern Poland ranks among the most polluted urban agglomerations in Europe. There are persisting controversies with respect to impact of different pollution sources operating in Krakow agglomeration on air quality within the city. The presented pilot study was aimed at exploring the possibilities offered by elemental and carbon isotope composition of total suspended particulate matter (TSPM) for better characterization of its sources in Krakow atmosphere. The analyses of carbon isotope composition of total carbon in the investigated TSPM samples were supplemented by parallel analyses of radiocarbon content in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This study revealed large seasonal variability of carbon isotope composition in the analysed TSPM samples. This large variability reflects seasonally varying contribution of different sources of fossil and modern carbon to the TSPM pool. The elemental composition of TSPM also reveals distinct seasonal variability of the analysed elements, reflecting varying mixture of natural and anthropogenic sources of those elements. A linear relationship between the fossil carbon load in the TSPM samples and the fossil carbon load in the atmospheric CO2 was found, pointing to the presence of additional source of anthropogenic carbonaceous particles not associated with burning of fossil fuels. Wearing of tyres and asphalt pavement is most probably the main source of such particles.

Abstract

Continuous monitoring of natural gamma radiation in air has been carried out, during December 2014 – January 2018, with 1-min cyclic measurement in Prague, Czech Republic using a NaI(Tl) probe. The 214Bi/214Pb ratio as a tracer in rainwater has been investigated to study its variations related to both the ambient dose equivalent rate per hour and the amount of rainfall. A hybrid methodology for time series analysis, composed of the aggregation of two signal decomposition methods (multiple linear regression and empirical mode decomposition) and one forecasting method (support vector regression), has been applied to identify the anomalies in the studied signals in order to better find correlations among them. The results show a strong correlation between the ambient dose equivalent rate and the 214Bi/214Pb ratio values and between both these signals and rainfall amount ≥5 mm/h. Furthermore, the considered descendants of radon are mainly responsible for the overall ambient dose equivalent rate.

Abstract

Four years of observations of radon, meteorology and atmospheric pollution was used to demonstrate the efficacy of combined diurnal and synoptic timescale radon-based stability classification schemes in relating atmospheric mixing state to urban air quality in Zgierz, Central Poland. Nocturnal radon measurements were used to identify and remove periods of non-stationary synoptic behaviour (13–18% of each season) and classify the remaining data into five mixing states, including persistent temperature inversion (PTI) conditions, and non-PTI conditions with nocturnal conditions ranging from well mixed to stable. Mixing state classifications were performed completely independently of site meteorological measurements. World Health Organization guideline values for daily PM2.5/PM10 were exceeded only under strong PTI conditions (3–15% of non-summer months) or often under non-PTI stable nocturnal conditions (14–20% of all months), when minimum nocturnal mean wind speeds were also recorded. In non-summer months, diurnal amplitudes of NO (CO) increased by the factors of 2–12 (3–7) from well-mixed nocturnal conditions to PTI conditions, with peak concentrations occurring in the morning/evening commuting periods. Analysis of observations within radon-derived atmospheric mixing ‘class types’ was carried out to substantially clarify relationships between meteorological and air quality parameters (e.g. wind speed vs. PM2.5 concentration, and atmospheric mixing depth vs. PM10 concentration).

Abstract

Objectives: Recent results of epidemiological and medical statistics studies of lung cancer and indoor radon in different regions of the world make a relevant new combined analysis of residential exposure health effects. In particular, new data were obtained by means of a meta-analysis of case-control studies as well as taking into account a confounding effect of human papillomavirus infection in studies of geographically aggregated data.

Materials and methods: Two sources of epidemiological data are considered: (1) studies of ecological design and (2) case-control studies. Ecological studies included the analysis performed for the USA counties and Russian oblasts with adjusting for the main confounders. Data on the case-control studies were gained from the meta-analysis of 31 individual studies with a weighting of obtained odds ratios according to the quality of radon exposure reconstruction and size of the reference group. Estimations of lung cancer excess relative risk (ERR) associated with indoor radon exposure are combined.

Results: Two types of epidemiological study design provided generally consistent EER estimations. The combined value of ERR due to radon exposure is 0.14 (90% CI: 0.10–0.18) per 100 Bq/m3.

Conclusion: Available geographically aggregated data in regions of Russia and the United States and the meta-analysis of case-control studies conducted in a large number of countries confirm the association of lung cancer with indoor radon exposure.

Abstract

According to the new European Union Basic Safety Standards (EU-BSS), preparation of the National Radon Action Plan is obligatory for the Member States. One of the plan’s aims is to carry out an indoor radon survey to identify radon-prone areas. In the radon surveys, track detector methods are used. At the University of Pannonia (Veszprém, Hungary), a new scanner-based detector evaluation system has been developed. For the application of the new system, the selection of appropriate parameters is necessary. In this study, selection of the applied track detectors and setting of the etching conditions have been carried out. Two different types of allyl diglycol carbonate (ADC or CR-39) track detectors were investigated, taking into account the detector’s background and response during the exposure (determination of calibration factor). The Baryotrak’s background track density (0–1.5 tracks mm−2) was lower than that of the 0.8–4 tracks mm−2. The response of the Tastrak was higher, but the deviation of the calibration factor was much higher (1.2–5.3 × 10−3 tracks mm−2/(Bq day m−3)) than in the case of the Baryotrak (1.4–2.8 × 10−3 tracks mm−2/(Bq day m−3)). After the systematic review of the etching system, a new method was developed. For the determination of the optimal track diameter, the argon fluoride (ArF) laser was applied to create tracks with diameters in the range of 10–100 μm. The optimum track size was in the range of 40–60 μm. On this basis, new etching conditions were determined: 6.25 M NaOH solution, a temperature of 90°C, and time period of 8 hours.

Abstract

The exposure from radon, thoron, and thoron progeny was measured for 45 dwellings in high background radiation area in Takandeang, Indonesia with ambient dose equivalent rate ranging from 0.34 μSv h−1 to 1.90 μSv h−1. The measurement was taken using passive radon and thoron discriminative detector and thoron progeny detector. This measurement was taken from November 2018 to October 2019, and within one month the detector would be replaced with a new detector. The concentrations of radon, thoron, and thoron progeny were calculated as 42–490 Bq m−3, 20–618 Bq m−3, and 4–40 Bq m−3, respectively. The concentrations for outdoor were 49–435 Bq m−3, 23–457 Bq m−3, and 4–37 Bq m−3, respectively, and the annual effective dose was 9.8–28.6 mSv y−1. Based on the result of Spearman’s correlations analysis between the indoor radon and thoron concentrations and between the indoor thoron progeny and thoron concentrations, we suggest that exposure to thoron cannot be predicted from exposure to radon, and the equilibrium equivalent thoron concentration has a large uncertainty when it is estimated from thoron concentration assuming a single thoron equilibrium factor.