The use of portable equipment for the activity concentration index determination of building materials: method validation and survey of building materials on the Belgian market

Mark Stals, Sanne Verhoeven, Michel Bruggeman, Veerle Pellens, Wouter Schroeyers, Sonja Schreurs, Leen Verheyen

    Research outputpeer-review


    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. 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. The B-NORM method utilizes a LaBr3(Ce) scintillation probe to obtain the spectral data. 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. The B-NORM method was applied to analyze more than 120 building materials. No building materials exceeded the proposed reference level of 1 mSv/year.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-63
    JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
    StatePublished - Jan 2014

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