Following the accident at the Daiichi Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, a vast number of Pacific seawater samples from many locations far from Fukushima have been collected by Japanese investigators. Due to dilution, the activities of radionuclides from North Pacific seawater samples are very low, which calls for extraordinary measures when being measured. This study focuses on the metrological aspects of the gamma-ray spectrometry measurements performed on such samples in two underground laboratories; at HADES (by JRC-IRMM in Belgium), and at Ogoya (by Kanazawa University in Japan). Due to many samples and long measurement times, all available HPGe detectors needed to be employed. In addition to single coaxial detectors, this involved multidetector systems and well detectors. Optimization of detection limits for different radionuclides and detectors was performed using Monte Carlo simulations.
1. Hirose, K., Aoyama, M., Igarashi, Y., & Komura, K. (2005). Ultra-sensitive mass spectrometric and other methods applied to environmental problems. J Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., 263, 349-353.
2. Aoyama, M., & Hirose, K. (2007). Radiometric determination of anthropogenic radionuclides in seawater. In P. Povinec (Ed.), Analysis of environmental radionuclides (pp. 137-162). Hungary: Elsevier.
3. Komura, K. (1998). Challenge to detection limit of environmental radioactivity. In Y. Ogawa & T. Tsujimoto (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1997 International Symposium on Environmental Radiation (pp. 56-75). Osaka, Japan: Kansai Kosaido Co.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.