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Title: Radon Monitoring and Early Low Background Counting at the Sanford Underground Laboratory

Abstract

Radon detectors have been deployed underground at the Sanford Underground Laboratory at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, SD. Currently, no radon mitigation measures are in place in the underground environment, and the continuing evolution of the facility ventilation systems has led to significant variations in early airborne radon concentrations. The average radon concentration measured near the primary ventilation intake for the 4850-ft level (Yates shaft) is 391 Bq/m{sup 3}, based on approximately 146 days of data. The corresponding average radon concentration near the other main ventilation intake for the 4850-ft level (Ross shaft) is 440 Bq/m{sup 3} based on approximately 350 days of data. Measurements have also been collected near the 1250-ft level Ross shaft, with average radon concentrations at 180 Bq/m{sup 3}. Secondary factors that may increase the baseline radon level underground include the presence of iron oxide and moisture, which are known to enhance radon emanation. The results of the current radon monitoring program will be used for the planning of future measurements and any potential optimization of ventilation parameters for the reduction of radon in relevant areas underground.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 57069 (United States)
  2. Sanford Laboratory at Homestake, Lead, SD 57754 (United States)
  3. Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD 57799 (United States)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21513218
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1338; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: LRT-2010: Topical workshop on low radioactivity techniques, Sudbury (Canada), 28-29 Aug 2010; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.3579563; (c) 2011 American Institute of Physics
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; DIFFUSION; EVOLUTION; FLUCTUATIONS; INTAKE; IRON OXIDES; MINES; MITIGATION; OPTIMIZATION; RADIATION MONITORING; RADIOISOTOPES; RADON; REDUCTION; UNDERGROUND; VENTILATION; CHALCOGENIDES; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; ELEMENTS; FLUIDS; GASES; IRON COMPOUNDS; ISOTOPES; LEVELS; MONITORING; NONMETALS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; RARE GASES; TRANSITION ELEMENT COMPOUNDS; UNDERGROUND FACILITIES; VARIATIONS

Citation Formats

Thomas, K. J., Mei, D.-M., Heise, J., Durben, D., and Salve, R. Radon Monitoring and Early Low Background Counting at the Sanford Underground Laboratory. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1063/1.3579563.
Thomas, K. J., Mei, D.-M., Heise, J., Durben, D., & Salve, R. Radon Monitoring and Early Low Background Counting at the Sanford Underground Laboratory. United States. doi:10.1063/1.3579563.
Thomas, K. J., Mei, D.-M., Heise, J., Durben, D., and Salve, R. 2011. "Radon Monitoring and Early Low Background Counting at the Sanford Underground Laboratory". United States. doi:10.1063/1.3579563.
@article{osti_21513218,
title = {Radon Monitoring and Early Low Background Counting at the Sanford Underground Laboratory},
author = {Thomas, K. J. and Mei, D.-M. and Heise, J. and Durben, D. and Salve, R.},
abstractNote = {Radon detectors have been deployed underground at the Sanford Underground Laboratory at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, SD. Currently, no radon mitigation measures are in place in the underground environment, and the continuing evolution of the facility ventilation systems has led to significant variations in early airborne radon concentrations. The average radon concentration measured near the primary ventilation intake for the 4850-ft level (Yates shaft) is 391 Bq/m{sup 3}, based on approximately 146 days of data. The corresponding average radon concentration near the other main ventilation intake for the 4850-ft level (Ross shaft) is 440 Bq/m{sup 3} based on approximately 350 days of data. Measurements have also been collected near the 1250-ft level Ross shaft, with average radon concentrations at 180 Bq/m{sup 3}. Secondary factors that may increase the baseline radon level underground include the presence of iron oxide and moisture, which are known to enhance radon emanation. The results of the current radon monitoring program will be used for the planning of future measurements and any potential optimization of ventilation parameters for the reduction of radon in relevant areas underground.},
doi = {10.1063/1.3579563},
journal = {AIP Conference Proceedings},
number = 1,
volume = 1338,
place = {United States},
year = 2011,
month = 4
}
  • Radon detectors have been deployed underground at the Sanford Underground Laboratory at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, SD. Currently, no radon mitigation measures are in place in the underground environment, and the continuing evolution of the facility ventilation systems has led to significant variations in early airborne radon concentrations. The average radon concentration measured near the primary ventilation intake for the 4850-ft level (Yates shaft) is 391 Bq/m{sup 3}, based on approximately 146 days of data. The corresponding average radon concentration near the other main ventilation intake for the 4850-ft level (Ross shaft) is 440 Bq/m{supmore » 3} based on approximately 350 days of data. Measurements have also been collected near the 1250-ft level Ross shaft, with average radon concentrations at 180 Bq/m{sup 3}. Secondary factors that may increase the baseline radon level underground include the presence of iron oxide and moisture, which are known to enhance radon emanation. The results of the current radon monitoring program will be used for the planning of future measurements and any potential optimization of ventilation parameters for the reduction of radon in relevant areas underground.« less
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna and the European Union (EU) in Bruxelles formed the International Radon Metrology Programme. The IRMP is designed to assess and foster the improvement of radon and decay product measurements that are made around the world. Within the framework of the IRMP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Radiation and Indoor Environments National Laboratory (EPA) in Las Vegas, Nevada, organized jointly with the U.S. Bureau of Mines an international intercomparison exercise at a former uranium mine (Twilight Mine, Colorado) and the EPA Radon Laboratory. The main objective of this exercise was to compare radonmore » and radon decay product instruments under both well-controlled as well as widely fluctuating exposure conditions. The laboratory exposures occurred under relatively steady radon and decay product conditions, with a moderate equilibrium ratio, while the conditions in the mine fluctuated greatly and the equilibrium ratio was low. An additional purpose of the exercise was to provide a forum for manufacturers and measurement organizations worldwise to exchange information and plan improvements in their operations and calibration programs. Altogether 19 organizations from seven countries intercomparing 32 different radon and radon decay product instruments participated in this exercise. This paper summarizes the results from the analysis of the experimental data obtained in the Bureau of Mines Twilight Mine in July of 1994, as well as the results from the EPA Radon laboratory in August of 1994.« less
  • The former Homestake gold mine in Lead, South Dakota is being transformed into a dedicated laboratory to pursue underground research in rare-process physics, as well as offering research opportunities in other disciplines. A key component of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is the Davis Campus, which is in operation at the 4850-foot level (4300 m.w.e) and currently hosts three projects: the LUX dark matter experiment, the Majorana Demonstrator neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment and the Berkeley and CUBED low-background counters. Plans for possible future experiments at SURF are well underway and include long baseline neutrino oscillation experiments, future dark mattermore » experiments as well as nuclear astrophysics accelerators. Facility upgrades to accommodate some of these future projects have already started. SURF is a dedicated facility with significant expansion capability. These plans include a Generation-2 Dark Matter experiment and the US flagship neutrino experiment, LBNE.« less
  • The former Homestake gold mine in Lead, South Dakota is being transformed into a dedicated laboratory to pursue underground research in rare-process physics, as well as offering research opportunities in other disciplines such as biology, geology and engineering. A key component of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is the Davis Campus, which is in operation at the 4850-foot level (4300 m.w.e) and currently hosts three projects: the LUX dark matter experiment, the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment and the CUBED low-background counter. Plans for possible future experiments at SURF are well underway and include long baseline neutrino oscillationmore » experiments, future dark matter experiments as well as nuclear astrophysics accelerators. Facility upgrades to accommodate some of these future projects have already started. SURF is a dedicated facility with significant expansion capability.« less
  • The former Homestake gold mine in Lead, South Dakota, has been transformed into a dedicated facility to pursue underground research in rare-process physics, as well as offering research opportunities in other disciplines such as biology, geology and engineering. A key component of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is the Davis Campus, which is in operation at the 4850-foot level (4300 m.w.e.) and currently hosts two main physics projects: the LUX dark matter experiment and the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment. In addition, two low-background counters currently operate at the Davis Campus in support of current and future experiments. Expansionmore » of the underground laboratory space is underway at the 4850L Ross Campus in order to maintain and enhance low-background assay capabilities as well as to host a unique nuclear astrophysics accelerator facility. Plans to accommodate other future experiments at SURF are also underway and include the next generation of direct-search dark matter experiments and the Fermilab-led international long-baseline neutrino program. Planning to understand the infrastructure developments necessary to accommodate these future projects is well advanced and in some cases have already started. SURF is a dedicated research facility with significant expansion capability.« less