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Diepenbeek, Belgium

Stals M.,clear Technological Center | Stals M.,Hasselt University | Verhoeven S.,clear Technological Center | Bruggeman M.,Belgian Nuclear Research Center | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity | Year: 2014

The Euratom BSS requires that in the near future (2015) the building materials for application in dwellings or buildings such as offices or workshops are screened for NORM nuclides. The screening tool is the activity concentration index (ACI). Therefore it is expected that a large number of building materials will be screened for NORM and thus require ACI determination. Nowadays, the proposed standard for determination of building material ACI is a laboratory analyses technique with high purity germanium spectrometry and 21 days equilibrium delay. In this paper, the B-NORM method for determination of building material ACI is assessed as a faster method that can be performed on-site, alternative to the aforementioned standard method. The B-NORM method utilizes a LaBr3(Ce) scintillation probe to obtain the spectral data. Commercially available software was applied to comprehensively take into account the factors determining the counting efficiency. The ACI was determined by interpreting the gamma spectrum from 226Ra and its progeny; 232Th progeny and 40K. In order to assess the accuracy of the B-NORM method, a large selection of samples was analyzed by a certified laboratory and the results were compared with the B-NORM results. The results obtained with the B-NORM method were in good correlation with the results obtained by the certified laboratory, indicating that the B-NORM method is an appropriate screening method to assess building material ACI. The B-NORM method was applied to analyze more than 120 building materials on the Belgian market. No building materials that exceed the proposed reference level of 1mSv/year were encountered. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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