Calculating Capstone depleted uranium aerosol concentrations from beta activity measurements.

U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, 5158 Blackhawk Road, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5403, USA.
Health physics (Impact Factor: 0.77). 04/2009; 96(3):238-50. DOI: 10.1097/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Beta activity measurements were used as surrogate measurements of uranium mass in aerosol samples collected during the field testing phase of the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study. These aerosol samples generated by the perforation of armored combat vehicles were used to characterize the DU source term for the subsequent Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) of Capstone aerosols. Establishing a calibration curve between beta activity measurements and uranium mass measurements is straightforward if the uranium isotopes are in equilibrium with their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny. For DU samples collected during the Capstone study, it was determined that the equilibrium between the uranium isotopes and their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny had been disrupted when penetrators had perforated target vehicles. Adjustments were made to account for the disrupted equilibrium and for wall losses in the aerosol samplers. Values for the equilibrium fraction ranged from 0.16 to 1, and the wall loss correction factors ranged from 1 to 1.92. This paper describes the process used and adjustments necessary to calculate uranium mass from proportional counting measurements.

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