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Title: Evaluation of natural and anthropogenic radioactivity in environmental samples from Kuwait using high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry
Author: Bajoga, Abubakar D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8319
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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A study of natural radioactivity from ninety different soil samples across the state of Kuwait was carried out with a view to ascertain the level of natural and/or man-made radioactivity from that area. There has been some concern on the levels of NORM following the First Gulf War in which approximately 300 tons of depleted uranium shells were used and in particular, whether it has a significant impact in the surrounding environment. This study uses gamma-spectroscopy in a low background measuring system employing a high resolution Hyper-Pure Germanium detector. The calculated specific activity concentrations are determined for the radionuclides 226Ra, 214Pb, 214Bi and 228Ac, 212Pb, 208Tl following the decays of the primordial radionuclides 238U and 232Th, respectively. The analysis also includes evaluations for the 235U decay chain. In particular, the 186 keV doublet transition is used together with the activity concentration values established from the decays of 214Bi and 214Pb to establish the 226Ra and 235U specific activity concentrations, which can be used to estimate the 235U:238U isotopic ratios and compare to the accepted value for naturally occurring material of 1:138. Specific activity concentration values have also been determined for the 40K and the anthropogenic radionuclide 137Cs (from fallout) were detected within the same samples. Results of the activity concentration gives mean value of 16.99±0.21, 12.79±0.14, 333±37 and 2.18±0.11 Bq/kg for 238U, 232Th, 40K, and 137Cs, respectively. The associated radiological hazard indices from these samples were found to have mean values of 29.13±0.35 nG/hr, 60.20±0.68 Bq/kg, and 35.30±0.40 µSv/year for the dose rates, radium equivalent, and annual dose equivalent, respectively. Analysed results of elemental concentrations of Uranium, Thorium and Potassium were also determined, and were found to range from 0.96±0.02 ppm to 2.53±0.02 ppm, 2.26±0.04 ppm to 5.23±0.05 ppm and a mean value of 1.21±0.03 % for 40K for the northern region, respectively. Overall result indicates values within the world average range. The results obtained for the 235U:238U isotopic ratio gives a mean value of 0.0462, which is consistent with the presence of natural material from the measured location.
Supervisor: Regan, P. H. Sponsor: Gombe State University/Tertiary Education Tax Fund (TETfund), Nigeria
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available