Document Details

State Background Radiation Levels: Results of Measurements Taken During 1975-1979.
Subject Terms:
Ra-226, Th-232, U-238; background radiation, ORNL; contamination; gamma-ray exposure; sampling, radionuclide; sampling, uranium
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Science and Technology\Geology, Hydrology, Seismology, Site Studies
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1981 Nov 30
Declassification Status:
Never classified
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
Originating Research Org.:
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Incorporated
OpenNet Entry Date:
1998 Sep 01
This document concerns the state background radiation levels: results of measurements taken during 1975-1979. Background radiation levels across the United States have been measured by the Off-Site Pollutant Measurements Group of the Health and Safety Research Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). These measurements were conducted as part of the ORNL program of radiological surveillance at inactive uranium mills and sites formerly utilized during Manhattan Engineer District and early Atomic Energy Commission projects. The measurements included determination of Ra-226, Th-232, and U-238 concentrations in surface soil samples and measurement of external gamma-ray exposure rates at 1 m above the ground surface at the location of soil sampling. This information is being utilized for comparative purposes to determine the extent of contamination present at the survey sites and surrounding off-site areas. External gamma-ray exposure rates were found to range from less than 1 to 34 uR/h, with a U.S. average of 8.5 uR/h. The nationwide average concentrations of Ra-226, Th-232, and U-238 in surface soil were determined to be 1.1, 0.98, and 1.0 pCi/g, respectively. Tables and figures are included in this report.

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