Assessment of radiation doses to the West Rand public due to inhalation of 222Rn and its daughter products

Dehkordi, Ava Nourian
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Radon is a radioactive gas which contributes significantly to the natural radiation background. For this reason, it is important to estimate doses to representative member of the public especially in areas with an elevated concentration of naturally occurring radionuclides e.g. the Witwatersrand Basin. This study presents the results of radon monitoring carried out in selected houses close to the gold and uranium mining operations in South Africa. Monitoring of radon and its progeny was performed inside selected houses that were built about 100 years ago, using a calibrated AlphaGuard PQ2000PRO active instrument. Radon monitoring the interpretation of the results took into consideration meteorological parameters, which are critical for evaluating radon concentrations. The results obtained by AlphaGuard were compared with long-term measurements performed in the same locations using the passive RGM (Radiation Gas Monitor) caps manufactured in South Africa. Indoor monitoring of radon and its progeny was supplemented by additional monitoring outdoors, around the selected houses, the slimes dams and in several selected locations close to mining operations. Assessment of doses due to inhalation of air contaminated by radon and its progeny was based on the obtained results of radon monitoring and the doses were compared to internationally accepted intervention and action levels established by International Commission of Radiological Protection 65 (ICRP) and various regulatory authorities throughout the world. The values of the indoor radon concentrations were compared with the international recommendations, and since the meteorological parameters are critical for analysing the radon concentration, an effort has been made to find a possible correlation between them and the indoor radon concentration.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Science, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for degree of Master of Science, Johannesburg, 2012
Dehkordi, Ava Nourian (2012) Assessment of radiation doses to the West Rand due to inhalation of 222Rn and its daughter products, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>