# Mass Attenuation Coefficients of IAEA Soil Standards at Different Gamma-ray Energies

## Abstract

Self-attenuation correction is very important in gamma-ray spectrometry of large samples. This paper presents the measurement of mass attenuation coefficients for three IAEA soil samples (IAEA-447, IAEA-TEL-2011-03, and IAEA-TEL-2012-03). It has been shown that the transmission method is important when the chemical composition of a sample is not known. For samples with established chemical composition, NIST offers WinXCom which provides mass attenuation coefficients based on the photon interaction data. WinXCom was applied and mass attenuation coefficients for the world average soil and IC-2018-01 soil were estimated. The mass attenuation coefficients required for the self-attenuation correction of soil samples for the determination of^{226}Ra,

^{232}Th,

^{40}K, and

^{137}Cs have also been presented.

## References

K. Satoh, N. Ohashi, H. Higuchi and M. Noguchi, "Determination of attenuation coefficient for self-absorption correction in routine gamma ray spectrometry of environmental bulk sample", J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., Articles, vol. 84, pp. 431-440, 1984.

G.F. Knoll, "Radiation Detection and Measurement (4th Edition)", John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, USA, 2010.

N.H. Cutshall, I.L. Larsen and C.R. Olsen, "Direct analysis of 210Pb in sediment samples: self-absorption corrections", Nucl. Instrum. Methods, vol. 206, pp. 309-312, 1983.

M.S. Badawi, M.M. Gouda, S.S. Nafee, A.M. El-Khatib and E.A. El-Mallah, "New analytical approach to calibrate the co-axial HPGe detectors including correction for source matrix self-attenuation", Appl. Radiat. Isot., vol. 70, pp. 2661-2668, 2012.

M.I. Abbas, Y.S. Selim and M. Bassiouni, "HPGe detector photopeak efficiency calculation including self-absorption and coincidence corrections for cylindrical sources using compact analytical expressions", Rad. Phys. Chem., vol. 61, pp. 429-431, 2001.

A.A. El-Sayed, "Evaluation of Compton scattering and self-attenuation coefficient after Î³-ray analysis of naturally occurring radioactive elements in environmental samples", J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem.,

vol. 274, pp. 379-387, 2007.

J.P. Bolivar, "On self-attenuation corrections in gamma-ray spectrometry", Appl. Radiat. Isot., vol. 48, pp. 1125-1126, 1997.

M.S. Al-Masri, M. Hasan, A. Al-Hamwi, Y. Amin and A.W. Doubal, "Mass attenuation coefficients of soil and sediment samples using gamma energies from 46.5 to 1332 keV", J. Environ. Radioact.,

vol. 116, pp. 28-33, 2013.

K. Haddad and H. Suman, "Determination of the gamma self-attenuation correction factors using intensity ratios", J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., vol. 268, pp. 109-112, 2006.

F. HernÃ¡ndez and F. El-Daoushy, "Semi-empirical method for self-absorption correction of photons with energies as low as 10 keV in environmental samples", Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A,

vol. 484, pp. 625-641, 2002.

J. Saegusa, K. Kawasaki, A. Mihara, M. Ito and M. Yoshida, "Determination of detection efficiency curves of HPGe detectors on radioactivity measurement of volume samples", Appl. Radiat. Isot.,

vol. 61, pp. 1383-1390, 2004.

J.H. Hubbell, "Photon mass attenuation and energy-absorption coefficients from 1 keV to 20 MeV", Appl. Radiat. Isot., vol. 33,

pp. 1269 - 1290, 1982.

M.J. Berger, J.H. Hubbell, S.M. Seltzer, J. Chang, J.S. Coursey,

R. Sukumar, D.S. Zucker and K. Olsen, XCOM: Photon Cross Section Database (online: http://physics.nist.gov/xcom National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA, 2010.

L. Gerward, N. Guilbert, K.B. Jensen and H. Levring, "WinXCom - A program for calculating X-ray attenuation coefficients", Rad. Phys. Chem., vol. 71, pp. 653-654, 2004.

NIST, XCOM (online): https://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/Xcom/ html/xcom1.html, 2020.

C.C. Fuller, A. van Geen, M. Baskaran and R. Anima, "Sediment chronology in San Francisco Bay, California, defined by 210Pb, 234Th, 137Cs, and 239,240Pu", Mar. Chem., vol. 64, pp. 7-27, 1999.

M. Ali, M. Wasim, M. Arif, J.H. Zaidi, Y. Anwar and F. Saif, "Determination of the natural and anthropogenic radioactivity in the soil of Gilgit - a town in the foothills of Hindukush range", Health Phys., vol. 98 (Supplement 2), pp. S69-S75, 2010.

M. Wasim, S. Iqbal, M. Arif and M. Ali, "Determination of elements in Hunza River sediment by k 0 instrumental neutron activation analysis", J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., vol. 298, pp. 563-570, 2013.

S. Iqbal, M. Wasim, M. Arif and Y. Anwar, "Methodology development for the determination of gamma emitting radionuclides in moss-soil (IAEA-447) and statistical evaluation of the proficiency test results submitted to the IAEA", Nucleus, vol. 48, pp. 231-236, 2011.

I. Fatima, J.H. Zaidi and M. Arif, "Measurement of natural radioactivity in bottled drinking water in Pakistan and consequent dose estimates", Radiat. Prot. Dosimetry, vol. 123, pp. 234-240, 2007.

IAEA, "Analytical Quality in Nuclear Applications, Worldwide Open Proficiency Test: Determination of Natural and Artificial Radionuclides in Moss-Soil and Water IAEA-CU-2009-03", IAEA Analytical Quality in Nuclear Applications Series No. IAEA/AQ/22, IAEA, Vienna, 2012.

B. Mason and C.B. Moore, "Principles of Geochemistry", John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1982.

M. Wasim, M. Ali and S. Iqbal, "Assessment of the risk associated with the gamma-emitting radionuclides from the soil of two cities in Central Karakorum", J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., vol. 303, pp. 985-991, 2015.

M. Wasim, "Intercomparison Exercises: Element in soil (IC-2018-01EL), Radionuclides in soil (IC-2018-01RN) and Arsenic in water

(IC-2018-02As)", Report No. FOA/Doc-01, Forum of Analysts, Islamabad, 2019.

## Downloads

## Published

## How to Cite

*The Nucleus*, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 62–66, Dec. 2020.