[ RadSafe ] Fwd: Fwd: [New post] Raised radiation level found inMissouri Snow

Joseph Shonka jjshonka at shonka.com
Tue Jan 7 13:08:57 CST 2014

When the ground freezes, radon emanation rates go to near zero.  The ground
a few hundred kilometers west of the area provides most of the radon seen
in the atmosphere in the northern hemisphere.  This radon would be
available for co-precipitation during rainfall or snowfall events.  When
spring thaw comes, radon can be much higher than "normal" for a short time
due to higher than normal levels of radon in the ground.  ANL reported an
incident many years ago due to this phenomenon.

On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM, Chris Alston <achris1999 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Folks
> What is happening to the radon source term, given the cold and
> snowpack?  I can remember, many years ago, when I was green as a
> grasshopper, doing verification of remedial action for depleted U on a
> property (a large lawn or backyard, from which we had stripped the
> sod) with a FIDLER, during an afternoon when it was warm, sunny, and
> breezy.  I went back to finish work the next morning, when it was
> cold, damp, and heavily foggy (the airport was socked-in).  The whole
> area was "hot" again.  Baffled, I walkie-talkied my boss.  He laughed,
> and explained, basically, that due to the low-pressure, more *natural*
> radon was emanating from the soil, and it was not moving much, due to
> the cold, so the daughters were ingrowing.  In effect, our carefully
> determined gamma background for the area was out the window.
> Cheers
> cja
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Brennan, Mike  (DOH) <Mike.Brennan at doh.wa.gov>
> Date: Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 11:59 AM
> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Fwd: [New post] Raised radiation level found
> inMissouri Snow
> To: "The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics)
> MailingList" <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
> I don't know the answer to this offhand, but how does the response of
> a GM tube change with temperature?  The reason I ask is that it is
> currently COLD in much of the Midwest, and it wouldn't surprise me if
> things are different at -20C.
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Joseph J. Shonka, Ph.D.
Shonka Research Associates, Inc.
119 Ridgemore Circle
Toccoa, GA 30577

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