Radon emission rate and analysis of its influencing parameters

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Abstract

The geological and structural conditions define the radon situation inside a building. While the geological realities can be specified by the content of radium-226 and the ratio of radon-222 emitted from the ground the structural conditions are defined by the tightness of the building envelope. The radon concentration inside has an unsteady character, which is caused by meteorological conditions outside and the air change rate (ACH or ACR), which in turn is influenced by the residents’ behaviour such as venting and heating. For the assessment of the radon exposition, it is necessary to perform measurements for a long time. An approach to reduce this time by eliminating the inhabitants influence on the radon concentration is the radon emission rate, also known as radon entry rate. This variable is based on the measurement of the radon concentration and the parallel determination of the air change rate via a tracer gas method, the result expresses a released activity per time. Due to their noisy character, it is necessary to apply a smoothing algorithm to the input parameters. In addition to mean values, the use of window functions, known from digital signal processing, was analysed. For the verification of the whole calculation procedure, simulations and measurements under defined conditions were used. Furthermore, measurements in an uninhabited house showed proof of the capability of the assessment of the radon potential. First examinations of influencing parameters of the radon emission rate showed a possible dependence on the temperature difference inside and outside the building.

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