Use of total beta counts to estimate GI tract dose rates Page: 3 of 16
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better measurement. Secondly, it appeared that since exposure to the GI
tract was largely due to beta particles, a measurement of the beta activity
should in some way be relatable to the GI dose rate. The third reason was
an economic one. Radiochemical analyses for several nuclides are quite time
consuming. Although the number of measurements being made were not adequate
to take into account the fluctuations which were occurring, there was a
strong economic incentive to reduce the number of measurements even further.
In the past, radiochemical analyses of drinking water samples were
compared to the MPC values to obtain GI dose rate estimates. Samples were
taken weekly at Pasco, biweekly at Richland and monthly at Kennewick. In
addition, daily samples on which only a total beta activity measurement
was made were taken at all three cities. The beta count rate was converted
to picocuries by a tedious process relating the count rate to the relative
abundance of individual nuclides present.
The method adopted as a result of this study estimates the GI dose rate
from the daily total beta count rate measurements. Monthly measurements
of the abundance of individual nuclides are made to maintain a check on the
continued validity of the method.
Total beta determinations are made on evaporated samples counted in a
proportional counter. The count rate from this instrument depends upon the
relative abundance of the several nuclides present, weighted according to the
energy of the beta particles emitted and the number of beta emissions per
disintegration. The weighting of each nuclide that inherently occurs
during the beta proportional count resembles the weighting given mathematically
in the calculation of the MPC. For this reason, it was felt that the raw
count would be more apt to be proportional to the GI tract dose rate than
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Hall, R. B. Use of total beta counts to estimate GI tract dose rates, report, October 25, 1965; Richland, Washington. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1397428/m1/3/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.