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Effects of Precipitation on Surface-Scan Gamma Ray Survey Results: Case Study

[+] Author Affiliations
N. Dorrell

AMEC E&I, Inc., Grand Junction, CO

Paper No. ICEM2013-96120, pp. V002T04A006; 3 pages
  • ASME 2013 15th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • Volume 2: Facility Decontamination and Decommissioning; Environmental Remediation; Environmental Management/Public Involvement/Crosscutting Issues/Global Partnering
  • Brussels, Belgium, September 8–12, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division, Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5602-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


It has been known for many years that certain weather events (e.g., precipitation, low barometric pressure, etc.) can affect the results of outdoor gamma-ray surveys, particularly those where gamma spectroscopy is being used for the detection of uranium and its progeny. These effects are a result of a natural phenomenon that produces anomalous results that are contrary to the true concentrations present at the survey site. Gamma-ray survey results sometimes overestimate uranium concentrations during and immediately following rain or snowfall events.

The effects that a precipitation event has upon a drive-over gamma-ray survey are discussed in this paper. Surveys were conducted using a sensitive array of sodium iodide (NaI) detectors mounted to an all-terrain vehicle in late fall/early winter where snow was encountered. Isotope-specific measurements taken before and during precipitation events are compared and visually presented in iso-contour maps.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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