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The determination of the depth of localised radioactive contamination by 137Cs and 60Co in sand with principal component analysis

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number19
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)8262-8267
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A method to determine the depth of buried localized radioactive contamination nonintrusively and nondestructively using principal component analysis is described. The γ-ray spectra from two radionuclides, cesium-137 and cobalt-60, have been analyzed to derive the two principal components that change most significantly as a result of varying the depth of the sources in a bespoke sand-filled phantom. The relationship between depth (d) and the angle (θ) between the first two principal component coefficients has been derived for both cases, viz.where x and y are constants dependent on the shielding material and the γ-ray energy spectrum of the radioactivity in question, and φ is a function of θ. The technique enables the depth of a localized radioactive source to be determined nonintrusively in the range 5 to 50 mm with an accuracy of ±1 mm.