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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 148-151

Determination of atmospheric concentration of beryllium-7 at ground level

Radiological Protection Department, Bariloche Atomic Centre, National Atomic Energy Commission, Bariloche, Argentina

Correspondence Address:
Pablo A Andres
Av. E. Bustillo Km. 9,5; R8402AGP San Carlos de Bariloche
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/rpe.RPE_35_18

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Atmospheric concentration of beryllium-7 (7Be) at ground level was measured from September 2012 to October 2013 in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, using a HPV-5300AFC brushless, automatic flow control outdoor high volume air sampler for continuous use, and 8”×10” 0.8 microns fiberglass filters. The activity of 7Be was determined on a high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector (relative efficiency 12.3%) by standard gamma spectrometry. The average value found was 4.1 ± 0.1 mBq/m3. Seasonal changes in the atmospheric concentration of 7Be were compared with other environmental variables (temperature, humidity, precipitations, and air kerma rate), and correlation, both positive and negative, was observed as expected. Measurements were carried out following the Radiological Environmental Monitoring Programme at Bariloche Atomic Centre. The aim of the study was to determine atmospheric concentration of 7Be at ground level and to correlate its seasonal changes with environmental variables. Air samplers and environmental dosemeter locations were far away from buildings and any other thing that could influence or alter the measurements. Pearson's correlation coefficient was calculated to evaluate the relation between atmospheric 7Be concentration and environmental variables of interest. These changes in 7Be concentration can be attributed to the variations and dynamic of air exchange between the stratosphere and the troposphere and to the variations of the tropopause height. To fully understand and correctly interpret the meaning of these seasonal variations in the concentrations of atmospheric 7Be, active atmospheric processes must be taken into account. According to the measurements carried out, contribution of 7Be concentration to the natural background radiation dose is negligible.

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