ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY MEASUREMENTS IN THE PICATINNY ARSENAL AREA (1963 - 1966).
PICATINNY ARSENAL DOVER N J FELTMAN RESEARCH LABS
Pagination or Media Count:
An environmental radioactivity analysis program was conducted on samples taken from Picatinny Arsenal and surrounding areas. The period covered was from the spring of 1963 to the fall of 1966. Samples of grass, leaves, river and lake water, mud, and precipitation were assayed during 1963 and 1964. The most extensive sampling was done on soil from wooded areas. Samples of such soil were analyzed from November 1963 to October 1966. Radioassay was performed for the presence and specific concentration of individual gamma ray emitters by gamma ray spectrometry. Resolution of the complex spectrum for individual radionuclides was accomplished by electronic computer methods. The presence of five distinct gamma emitters was observed in almost all samples in concentrations from 1 to 100 picocuries of individual nuclide per gram of sample. These radioisotopes and their respective half-lives are cerium-144 285 days, antimony-125 2.7 years, ruthenium-106 1.0 year, cesium-137 30 years, and manganese-54 314 days. The origin of these radionuclides in the local environment is principally from aged nuclear fallout products resulting from atmospheric tests conducted by the U. S. and Soviet Russia in the fall of 1962. Zirconium-95 65 days was observed in some of the earlier samples and again at barely detectable levels in the most recent soil samples. The reappearance of this short-lived radionuclide is presumed to be due to Chinese nuclear explosions. Naturally occurring potassium-40 was also detected in almost all samples. No radioactivity was detectable whose origin can be attributed to local sources, i.e., to Picatinny Arsenal operations. Author
- Radioactivity, Radioactive Wastes and Fission Products