TY - JOUR

T1 - Calibration of buried NaI(Tl) scintillator detectors for natural radionuclide measurement based on Monte Carlo modelling

AU - Chambon, A.

AU - Klinkby, E. B.

AU - Bu, M.

AU - Murray, A. S.

AU - Kook, M.

AU - Olesen, H.

AU - Nielsen, K. B.

AU - Lauritzen, B.

PY - 2024/9

Y1 - 2024/9

N2 - Measurements of naturally occurring concentrations of 40K, and of the decay series of 238U and 232Th, are of interest in the earth sciences in general, and in particular, scintillator-based gamma spectrometers can be used for the low cost determination of burial dose rates in natural geological samples. We are currently developing a robust, portable, wireless detector specifically intended for field measurement of natural radionuclide concentrations and hence, the calculation of dose rates. One of the challenges in developing and applying such an instrument is reliable calibration. Most calibrations of field instruments depend on access to non-finite matrices of known K, U, Th activity concentrations, in either a 4π or 2π geometry; these are only available at a few facilities around the world. Here we investigate an alternative approach, based on the measurement of small samples containing well-known activity concentrations of only K or U or Th, and Monte-Carlo radiation transport modelling to convert the observed spectra into those expected from specific activity concentrations in a non-finite 4π geometry. We first validate our modelling procedure by simulating these observed spectra. The non-finite matrix calibration spectra are then predicted, and least-squares fitted to the spectrum observed at the centre of a 1 m3 of granite chips; the resulting predicted U, Th and K activity concentrations are compared with independently known values.

AB - Measurements of naturally occurring concentrations of 40K, and of the decay series of 238U and 232Th, are of interest in the earth sciences in general, and in particular, scintillator-based gamma spectrometers can be used for the low cost determination of burial dose rates in natural geological samples. We are currently developing a robust, portable, wireless detector specifically intended for field measurement of natural radionuclide concentrations and hence, the calculation of dose rates. One of the challenges in developing and applying such an instrument is reliable calibration. Most calibrations of field instruments depend on access to non-finite matrices of known K, U, Th activity concentrations, in either a 4π or 2π geometry; these are only available at a few facilities around the world. Here we investigate an alternative approach, based on the measurement of small samples containing well-known activity concentrations of only K or U or Th, and Monte-Carlo radiation transport modelling to convert the observed spectra into those expected from specific activity concentrations in a non-finite 4π geometry. We first validate our modelling procedure by simulating these observed spectra. The non-finite matrix calibration spectra are then predicted, and least-squares fitted to the spectrum observed at the centre of a 1 m3 of granite chips; the resulting predicted U, Th and K activity concentrations are compared with independently known values.

KW - Calibration

KW - Field measurement

KW - MCNP

KW - NaI(Tl) detector

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85193028340&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.radphyschem.2024.111803

DO - 10.1016/j.radphyschem.2024.111803

M3 - Journal article

AN - SCOPUS:85193028340

SN - 0969-806X

VL - 222

JO - Radiation Physics and Chemistry

JF - Radiation Physics and Chemistry

M1 - 111803

ER -