[ RadSafe ] Soil gamma spec

Peter Bossew peter.bossew at jrc.it
Tue Jul 29 03:13:02 CDT 2008

241Am can regularly be found in soil. It is part of global fallout from 
atmospheric bomb testing, decay product of 241Pu. Activity conc. is 
currently approx. equal to 238+240Pu. Maximum of 241Am conc. will be 
reached in about 2050.
The ratio 241Am : 137Cs (global) is about 0.6% (by 2003, back-referenced 
1 May 1986). Chernobyl contribution to total 241Am is mostly below 2% 
(value from a place in Central Europe strongly affected by Ch.)


Ross Beveridge wrote:
> A decom project with minimal (no) history of likely contaminants.
> Some recent soil spec results show the presence of americium.  
> Could soft X rays from radium be misinterpreted as an americium peak by the
> gamma spec?
> Any input/advice etc. would be gratefully appreciated.
> Rgds
> Ross
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Peter Bossew 

European Commission (EC) 
Joint Research Centre (JRC) 
Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) 

TP 441, Via Fermi 1 
21020 Ispra (VA) 
Tel. +39 0332 78 9109 
Fax. +39 0332 78 5466 
Email: peter.bossew at jrc.it 

"The views expressed are purely those of the writer and may not in any
circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European

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