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More sensitive radiology monitoring in the Basque Country
Date:6/9/2008

e of the dry period.

Natural radioactivity and anomalous values

Taking as reference the magnitude that Currie called critical limit, Dr. Alegra calculated the critical limit of both the dry and rainy periods. In this way, every time the limits of the previous year are exceeded, a base alarm level is generated which will alert the experts to a possible radiological incident. To this end, she drew up a mathematical model in order to represent the increase undergone by the radioactivity during the rainy period with respect to the dry period.

Although the dose rate increases during the rainy period, it does not do so in a manner directly proportional to the amount of water fallen, but exponentially. According to Dr. Alegra, this is due to the rainfall transporting components derived from chains of radon (a radioactive gas) to the earth's surface. In her PhD she also describes the systems of equations she used to distinguish between concentrations of radon due to natural causes and those caused by a radiological incident.

In conclusion, the PhD work presented by Ms Alegra at the UPV/EHU has made the radiological monitoring network in the Basque Country more sensitive, significantly reducing the number of alarms, but without there being radiological incidents that have gone undetected. The alarms of this network currently are triggered whenever there are external causes and not when a rise in natural radioactivity is caused by precipitations.


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Contact: Alaitz Ochoa de Eribe
alaitzo@elhuyar.com
34-688-673-679
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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