Assessment of Radiological Contamination of Soils Due to Shipbreaking Using HPGe Digital Gamma-Ray Spectrometry System


A systematic study of the distribution of the Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials as well as the anthropogenic radionuclide in the working environment of the Shipbreaking yards of Sitakunda, Chittagong, Bangladesh, has been carried out with an objective of establishing reliable base line data on the radiation level and hence to measure the radiation dose expose to the workers and to the inhabitants of the studied area. Fifteen Soil samples have been col-lected from five different Shipbreaking yards. Three sampling spots in each yard have been selected for having repre-sentative samples for the assessment of radioactivity releasing from 226Ra (238U), 232Th and their daughters and 40K us-ing the Digital Gamma-ray Spectrometry system coupled with a High Purity Germanium (HPGe; Canberra, 40% rela-tive efficiency, 1.8 keV resolution at 1332 keV of 60Co) detector and PC based Multichannel Analyzer (MCA, upto 16k channel). The software Genie 2000 (Canberra) and Hypermet PC have been used for data acquisition and gamma peak analysis, respectively. Each of fifteen soils (~200g) and two standards (IAEA-Soil-6 and 800Bq liquid 226Ra sprayed in Al2O3) were counted in cylindrical plastic pot using gamma spectrometry system for 20000 sec for the determination of activity concentrations of the radionuclides. The samples and standards were kept in air tied condition at least for 4 weeks before gamma counting to attain the radioactive equilibrium between daughters and parents of 226Ra (238U) and 232Th decay series. The Al2O3 based 226Ra standard was used for the construction of efficiency curve covering the wide gamma energy range. The IAEA-Soil-6 was used for quality control (QC) of the analysis. The homogeneity test and density corrections of Al2O3 based 226Ra standard were performed and implemented for the analysis. The results of ac-tivity concentrations have been used to assess the radium equivalent activities (Raeq) and the representative level index (Iγr) values in the experimental soil samples. The results have been compared with other global radioactivity measure-ments and evaluations.

Share and Cite:

M. Hossain, S. Hossain and A. Meaze, "Assessment of Radiological Contamination of Soils Due to Shipbreaking Using HPGe Digital Gamma-Ray Spectrometry System," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2010, pp. 10-14. doi: 10.4236/jep.2010.11002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] N. A. Matiullah and A. J. A. H. Khatibeh, “Comparative studies of indoor radon concentration levels in Jordan us-ing CR-39 based bag and cup dosimeter,” Health Physics, Vol. 75, No. 1, pp. 60–62, 1998.
[2] IAEA Technical Report Series, “Measurement of ra-dio-nuclides in food and the environment,” No. 295, 1989.
[3] K. A. Kabir, S. M. A. Islam, and M. M. Rahman, “Dis-tribution of radionuclides in surface soil and bottom sedi-ment in the district of Jessore, Bangladesh and evaluation of radiation hazard,” Journal of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 117–130, 2009.
[4] United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation Report to the General Assembly, 1998. .
[5] J. Beretka and P. J. Mathew, “Natural radioactivity of Australian building materials, industrial wastes and by- products,” Health Physics, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 87–95, 1985.
[6] Report by NEA Group of Experts, “Nuclear energy agency, exposure to radiation from natural radioactivity in building materials,” OECD, 1979.
[7] F. K. Mia, S. Roy, N. Touhiduzzaman, and B. Alan, “Dis-tribution of radionuclides in soil samples in and around Dhaka city,” Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Vol. 49, No. 1–2, pp. 133–137, 1998.
[8] S. Selvasekarapandian, N. M. Manikandan, R. Sivkumar, V. Meenakshinundaram, and V. Raghunath, “Natural ra-diation distribution of soils at Kotagiri Taluk of the Nilgiris biosphere in India,” Radio-Analytical and Nu-clear Chemistry, Vol. 252, No. 2, pp. 429–435, 2002.
[9] J. G. Ingersoll, “A survey of radionuclide contents and radon emanation rates in building materials used in the U. S.,” Health Physics, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 362–368, 1983.
[10] C. Papastefanou, S. Stoulos, M. Manolopoulou, A. Ioan-nidou, and S. Charalambous, “Indoor radon concentra-tions in Greek apartment dwellings,” Health Physics, Vol. 66, No. 3, pp. 270–273, 1994.
[11] C. J. Chen, P. S. Weng, and T. C. Chu, “Evaluation of natural radiation in houses built with black schist,” Health Physics, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 74–78, 1983.
[12] M. Shohag, “Measurement of the natural and artificial radio activity in soil of Mymensingh district of Bangla-desh,” M. S. Thesis, University of Chittagong, Bangla-desh, 2007.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.