Investigations of environmental radioactivity in the northern state of Sudan

Wisal B. Hassan, F. I. Habbani, I. A. Shaddad

Abstract


Investigations have been carried out for naturally occurring radionuclides in surface soils in
selected regions of the Northern State of Sudan, in response to widely spread rumours of
elevated levels of radioactivity causing higher than normal incidence of cancer in that area.
Eighty surface soil samples were collected from different regions in the Northern State and
their activity concentrations were measured by a high-purity germanium detector gamma
spectrometer system. From the data obtained the mean values and standard deviations of the
radionuclide activities were calculated. From the activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and
40K radionuclides the external absorbed dose rate in air and the annual effective dose were
calculated.The radium equivalent activity and the external hazard index were applied for
estimating the radiation hazards of soil used as building material. The mean activity
concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in different regions of the Northern State were
found to be 82.6 + 6.8, 26.0 + 2.9 and 726.4 + 72.0 Bq/kg, respectively.The average outdoor
gamma absorbed dose rate in air at 1meter above ground was calculated as 84.6 + 7.1 nGy/h.
The average annual effective dose equivalent for population in the regions under study was
found to be 103.7 + 8.7 uSv/y. The external hazard index was found to be 0.48 + 0.04.

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Sud. J. Sci.                                        ISSN: 1858-5795