RADIOISOTOPES
Online ISSN : 1884-4111
Print ISSN : 0033-8303
ISSN-L : 0033-8303
Article
Determination of Uranium in Rocks and Soils of South Cameroon by γ-ray Spectrometry
Jean Félix BEYALA ATEBAPierre OWONO ATEBAGermain Hubert BEN-BOLIEHenri EKOBENA FOUDAPatrice ELE ABIAMAClément Roger ABEGAStanislas MVONDO
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JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

2011 Volume 60 Issue 10 Pages 399-408

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Abstract

Analytical results of uranium concentration in rocks and soils collected in the area of Lolodorf of South Cameroon where a radiometric anomaly had been found by previous investigation are reported. The analysis has been carried out by γ-ray spectrometry using a Ge detector. Radioactivity concentration of 235U was determined by comparing peak count rates of samples with those of natural uranium standard sample. Radioactivity concentration of 238U was calculated from the 235U radioactivity concentration by assuming that the isotopic composition of 235U is 0.7200% of natural abundance. Difference of γ-ray self-absorption between the samples and uranium standard was accurately corrected by using a mass attenuation coefficient of samples and standard measured by using an external γ-ray source. The radioactivity concentrations in rocks ranged from 0.92±0.02 to 228±14Bq/kg(235U) and 20±5 to 4868±307Bq/kg(238U), while radioactivity concentrations in soils ranged from 3±1 to 63±2 Bq/kg(235U) and 71±19 to 1346±38 Bq/kg(238U). The γ-ray dose rates in air at 1m above the ground surface due to the high uranium concentration in soil samples were ranged from 33±9 to 622±18 nGy/h. The highest uranium concentration of about 0.04% in rock was found in the analysis. These results show that the uranium content in the studied areas is significantly high and the studied areas have a potential for uranium mining.

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© 2011 by Japan Radioisotope Association
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