Theoretical basis for long-term measurements of equilibrium factors using LR 115 detectors

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1431-1435
Journal / PublicationApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


In this paper, we propose a method to determine the equilibrium factor using a bare LR 115 detector. The partial sensitivities ρi of the LR 115 detector to 222Rn and its alpha-emitting short-lived progeny, 218Po and 214Po, were investigated. We first determined the distributions of lengths of major and minor axes of the perforated alpha tracks in the LR 115 detector produced by 222Rn, 218Po and 214Po through Monte Carlo simulations. The track parameters were calculated using a track development model with a published V function, by assuming a removed active layer of 6.54μm. The distributions determined for different alpha emitters were found to completely overlap with one another. This implied equality of partial sensitivities for radon and its progeny, which was also confirmed through analytical considerations. Equality of partial sensitivities makes possible convenient measurements of the proxy equilibrium factor Fp, which is defined in the present work as (F 1+F3) and is equal to the ratio between the sum of concentrations of the two alpha emitting radon progeny (218Po+ 214Po) to the concentration of radon gas (222Rn). In particular, we have found Fp=(ρ/ρitC 0)-1, where ρ (track/m2) is the total track density on the detector, ρi=0.288×10-2m, t is the exposure time and C0 (Bq/m3) is the concentration of 222Rn. If C0 is known (e.g. from a separate measurement), we can obtain Fp. The proxy equilibrium factor Fp is also found to be well correlated with the equilibrium factor between radon gas and its progeny through the Jacobi room model. This leads to a novel method for long-term determination of the equilibrium factor. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Equilibrium factor, LR 115 detector, Natural radioactivity, Radon