Nuclear Physics and Atomic Energy

ядерна ф≥зика та енергетика
Nuclear Physics and Atomic Energy

  ISSN: 1818-331X (Print), 2074-0565 (Online)
  Publisher: Institute for Nuclear Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  Languages: Ukrainian, English, Russian
  Periodicity: 4 times per year

  Open access peer reviewed journal

 Home page   About 
Nucl. Phys. At. Energy 2016, volume 17, issue 3, pages 308-315.
Section: Radiobiology and Radioecology.
Received: 31.05.2016; Accepted: 19.10.2016; Published online: 13.12.2016.
PDF Full text (en)

Natural radioactivity and radiological effects in soil samples of the main electrical stations at Babylon Governorate

Ali Abid Abojassim1,*, Mohanad H. Oleiwi2, Mohammad Hassan2

1 University of Kufa, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, Iraq
2 University of Babylon, College of Education for Pure Science, Department of Physics, Iraq

*Corresponding author. E-mail address:

Abstract: The natural radionuclides namely 238U, 232Th and 40K for soil samples collected from locations of Alexandria and Musayyib electrical stations were measured. In addition, the radiological effects were calculated for all samples chosen in this study. The technique used in this study was gamma-ray spectrometry to estimate the natural radioactivity of twenty samples at the study area of the above-mentioned electrical stations. The results show that the specific activity of Alexandria samples of 238U were varied as 13.3 - 17.2 Bq/kg with an average of 15.4 ± 0.5 Bq/kg, 232Th were varied as 5.0 - 9.6 Bq/kg with an average of 6.2 ± 0.4 Bq/kg, and 40K were varied as 244.3 - 330.5 Bq/kg with an average of 293.0 ± 8.4 Bq/kg. But in Musayyib, the results of 238U, 232Th and 40K were varied as 10.0 - 18.7 Bq/kg with an average of 13.9 ± 0.9 Bq/kg, as 4.8 - 7.4 Bq/kg with an average of 6.0 ± 0.3 Bq/kg and as 207.5 - 294.2 Bq/kg with an average of 269.5 ± 8.6 Bq/kg, respectively. Also, it is found that the average of radiological effects like the radium equivalent (Raeq), the absorbed dose rate (Dr), external hazard index (Hex), internal hazard index (Hin), representative gamma hazard index (Iγ), the total annual effective dose equivalent (AEDE) and the excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) due to natural radioactivity in soil samples of Alexandria stations were 46.82 ± 2.10 Bq/kg, 23.27 ± 0.673 nGy/h, 0.126 ± 0.005, 0.167 ± 0.004, 0.359 ± 0.01, 0.142 ± 0.005 mSv/y and 0.499 ± 0.018 ⋅ 10-3, respectively, while for Musayyib were 43.29 ± 2.51 Bq/kg, 21.52 ± 0.719 nGy/h, 0.116 ± 0.004, 0.154 ± 0.006, 0.332 ± 0.011, 0.132 ± 0.005 mSv/y and 0.462 ± 0.019 ⋅ 10-3, respectively. When comparing the results in the study area with the world mean values specified by the UNSCEAR, OECD and ICRP, it can be concluded that no health risk may threaten the workers in the center of these locations due to these radionuclides in the soil of the study area.

Keywords: natural radioactivity, electrical stations, Babylon Governorate, gamma spectrometer.


1. Background radiation: fact sheet. Health Physics Society. Specialists in Radiation Safety (2015) 1.

2. E. Egidi, C. Hull. NORM and TENORM (Naturally Occurring and Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material) Producers, Users, and Proposed Regulations. Health Physics Society. Specialists in Radiation Safety (1999).

3. J. Lilley. Nuclear Physics: Principles and Applications (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2001). Google Books

4. H. Cember, T. Johnson. Introduction to Health Physics. 4-th ed. (UK: McGraw Hill Companies, 2009) 864 p. Google Books

5. O.A. Damaris. Radiation level measurement in Delta State University. Sci-Afric Journal of Scientific Issues, Research and Essays 2(11) (2014) 479.

6. L.K. Ronald. NORM sources and their origins. Appl. Radiat. Isotopes 49 (1998) 149.

7. M.J. Tobin, P.J. Karol. Estimation of carbon-11 in the atmosphere. Int. J. of Environmental Studies 32 (1988) 23.

8. A.S. Alaamer. Assessment of human exposures to natural sources of radiation in soil of Riyadh. Turkish Journal of Engineering & Environmental Sciences 32 (2008) 229. Article

9. K.A. Kabir, S.M. Islam, M. Rahman. Distribution of radionuclides in surface soil and bottom sediment in the district of Jessori Bangladesh and evaluation of radiation hazard. J. of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences 33(1) (2009) 117.

10. S. Chinnaesakki, M. Chopra, K. Sanjeev et al. Assessment of natural radioactivity in soil samples and comparison of direct and indirect measurement of environmental air kerma rate. J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem. 289 (2011) 885. Article

11. M.A. Jaffer. Measurement of natural radiation levels around uranium mine in Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf Governorate: M. Sc. thesis (University of Kufa, 2013).

12. T. Santawamaitre, D. Malain, H.A. Al-Sulaiti et al. Determination of 238U, 232Th and 40K specific activity in riverbank soil along the Chao Phraya river basin in Thailand. J. Environ. Radioactiv. 138 (2014) 80.

13. A.Z. Jassim, H.H. Al-Gazaly, A.A. Abojassim. Natural radioactivity levels in soil samples for some locations of Missan Government, Iraq. J. of Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2(1) (2016) 39. Article

14. Jwad K. Manii. Using GIS to study the probability pollution of surface soil in Babylon province, Iraq. J. of Applied Geology and Geophysics 2(1) (2014) 14.

15. Kassim Al-Morshidy, Moayed J.Y. Al-Amari. Detection of parasitic contamination in Hilla city drinking water / Babylon province, Iraq. Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences 9(3) (2015) 80. Article

16. R. Casanovas, J.J. Morant, M. Salvado. Implementation of gamma-ray spectrometry in two real-time water monitors using NaI (Tl) scintillation detectors. Appl. Radiat. Isotopes. 80 (2013) 49.

17. N. Ibrahim. Natural activities of 238U, 232Th and 238K in building materials. J. Environ. Radioactiv. 43(3) (1999) 255.

18. J. Beretka, P.J. Mathew. Natural radioactivity of Australian building materials, industrial wastes and by products. Health Phys. 48 (1985) 87. Article

19. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Introduction to Radiation (Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2012). Book

20. UNSCEAR. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation: Report to the General Assembly, with Scientific Annexes. Vol. 1 (New York, United Nations, 2008) 1. Report

21. UNSCEAR. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation: Report to the General Assembly, with Scientific Annexes. Vol. 1 (New York, United Nations, 2000) 654. Report

22. A.A. Abojassim Al-Hamidawi. Assessment of radiation hazard indices and excess lifetime cancer risk due to dust storm for Al-Najaf, Iraq. WSEAS Transactions on Environment and Development 10 (2014) 312. Article

23. Exposure to Radiation from the Natural Radioactivity in Building Materials: Report by an Nuclear Energy Agency group of experts (Paris, France: OECD, 1979). Report

24. Radiation Protection 112. Radiological Protection Principles Concerning the Natural Radioactivity of Building Materials (Brussels, European Commission, 1999). Report

25. Protection Against Radon-222 at Home and at Work. ICRP publication 65, Annals of the ICRP 23(2) (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1993). Report