RADIOMETRIC AND CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF SALINE SOIL SAMPLES OF PACCA ANNA, FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN Nasim Akhtar1, *, M. Ashraf Chaudhry2, M. Tufail3, M. Mohsin Iqbal1 and S.D. Orfi4
1Health Physics Section, NIAB, Faisalabad, Pakistan, 2Department of Physics, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan, 3Department of Nuclear Engineering, PIEAS, Islamabad, Pakistan, 4Health Physics Division, PINSTECH, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Abstract: Some saline soils from Pacca Anna, District Faisalabad, Pakistan were analyzed for the naturally occurring radionuclides of K40, the uranium and thorium series; and a fission product Cs137 was determined by the gamma ray spectroscopy using high purity Germanium (HPGe) detector. The soil samples were collected from the depths of plough layer i.e. 0-25 cm with 5cm increments. After crushing and drying, these samples were stored in radon impermeable plastic containers for at least forty days in order to bring Rn222 and its short-lived daughter products in secular equilibrium with Ra226. The geometric dimensions of the samples were identical with those containing the reference materials from IAEA. The concentration range of different radionuclides in becquerel per kg (Bq kg-1) of dry mass of soil samples were observed for K40 to lie in the range 563.24-619.57 Bq kg-1 499.24-604.20 Bq kg-1 and 614.45-670.77 Bq kg-1 for the virgin, fertilized, and NIAB soils, respectively. The concentration values of Cs137 for virgin, fertilized, and NIAB soils ranged between 3.57-3.63 Bq kg-1, 1.98-5.15 Bq kg-1 and 2.12-3.15 Bq kg-1, respectively. For Th232 the results are given as 45.63-61.99 Bq kg-1, 48.55-54.30 Bq kg-1 and 51.69-60.03 Bq kg-1 for the same soils. For the radioisotopes Ra226 the results are 27.34-32.66 Bq kg-1, 24.29-28.61 Bq kg-1 and 28.61-32.66 Bq kg-1, respectively.
Keywords: Natural radioactivity, radiation monitoring, radionuclides, soil radiation.