Volume 1, Issue 3 (December 2016)

Invited review paper

Radiation Chemistry

CHEMICAL EVOLUTION: AN APPROACH FROM RADIATION CHEMISTRY

Alicia Negron-Mendoza, Sergio Ramos-Bernal, María Colin-Garcia, Alejandro Heredia

Pages: 159-164

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.030

Received: 5 MAR 2016, Received revised: 6 MAY 2016, Accepted: 12 MAY 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

To explain the origin of life on Earth, a period in which the synthesis of bio-organic compounds was carried out from simple inorganic molecules under the influence of natural energy sources is assumed. However, many prebiotic reactions require the input of energy. Ionizing radiation is a very efficient source of energy and may have participated in prebiotic synthesis due to its unique qualities—e.g., its ubiquity, its energy deposition method, and the effectiveness of its reactions, via free radicals. The use of this source is substantiated by calculations of the energy available from the decay of radioactive elements with long half-lives. Cosmic radiation is an external energy source that also could have contributed to chemical evolution processes, especially in extraterrestrial environments. In the context of chemical evolution, radiation chemistry can be a very precise and useful tool to simulate the changes that take place in organic molecules that are exposed to high-energy radiation. This work highlights the importance of ionizing radiation in prebiotic synthesis, in both water and frozen solutions, which reproduces both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments.
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Original research papers

Radiochemistry

NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY IN DRINKING WATER FROM GALATI AND VRANCEA AREAS, ROMANIA

Violeta Pintilie, Lucian-Puiu Georgescu, Luminita Moraru, Antoaneta Ene, Catalina Iticescu

Pages: 156-170

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.031

Received: 29 FEB 2016, Received revised: 29 APR 2016, Accepted: 5 MAY 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

Pollution and contamination of drinking water grow rapidly due to industrial growth and urbanization. They potentially cause severe problems to health, so the water quality management addresses both national and international action to assess and prevent the associated hazard. The quality of drinking water must be strictly controlled. The aim of the study was to determine the concentration of 210Po, 210Pb, 226Ra in drinking water. The occurrence of 210Po and 210Pb has been determined by a spontaneous deposition onto a nickel disc and the gross alpha activity has been measured. 226Ra has been measured after 30 days of storage in order to be sure that 222Rn in water samples reached secular equilibrium. Water samples were collected from a total of 17 sites, which serve 556,125 persons, in Galati and Vrancea areas of the East part of Romania. Samples were collected during March and April of 2015. The monitoring of drinking water samples indicated the presence of 210Po, 210Pb, 226Ra at a concentration ranging from 1.9 to 12.5 mBq L-1, 3.2 and 15.9 mBq L-1, 8.0 and 30.0 mBq L-1, respectively. These values were compared with the maximum level permitted, according to national legislation. The average annual committed effective dose from the intake of water ranged between 4.15x10-3 and 18.80x10-3 mSv y-1, for adults, which is lower than the recommended reference value of 0.1 mSv in water for human consumption according to the current EU legislation.
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Radiation Physics

RADIATION-INDUCED DEFECTS AND DICHROISM IN La3Ga5,5Ta0,5O14 CRYSTALS

Nina Kozlova, Oleg Buzanov, Anna Kozlova, Evgeniia Zabelina, Vladimir Shayapov, Nikita Siminel

Pages: 171-176

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.032

Received: 29 FEB 2016, Received revised: 20 APR 2016, Accepted: 26 APR 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

We investigated the transmission spectra of the langatate (LGT, La3Ga5,5Ta0,5O14) crystals grown in different conditions (crucible – Ir or Pt, growth atmosphere – air, pure Ar, Ar with addition of oxygen 2% or less then 2%), in the initial state and after electron irradiation. We observed dichroism in these crystals. Dichroism indicates the anisotropy of defect centers. We obtained the dependence of transmission on the irradiation dose and found that electron irradiation causes a decrease of transmission in the wavelength range 250-700 nm. On the transmission spectra in the infrared region, we observed oscillations, which can presumably refer to the formation of a layered structure as a result of irradiation. We have calculated the thickness of the formed layer. Luminescent characteristics of LGT crystals depend on growth conditions. Intensity of luminescence in LGT (Ar+(2%)O2) is lower than in LGT (Ar). Electron irradiation leads to the reduction of intensity. The observed luminescence in langatate crystals is provided by different luminescent centers.
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Radiation Measurements

ASYMMETRY IN EXPERIMENTS TESTING CPT IN ORTHO-PS DECAY

Nevenka M. Antović, Sergey K. Andrukhovich

Pages: 177-182

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.033

Received: 28 FEB 2016, Received revised: 24 APR 2016, Accepted: 29 APR 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

Atom of positronium (Ps) – the bound state of an electron and a positron, has two ground states: singlet (para-Ps) and triplet (ortho-Ps). In this paper we consider asymmetry in the CPT test experiments performed using polarized ortho-Ps decay. Ortho-Ps annihilates dominantly into three gamma rays with the continuous energy spectrum in the range (0-511) keV. In searching for decays of ortho-Ps which violate CPT symmetry, the correlation was tested, where is the ortho-Ps spin, and , are the momenta of the two most energetic annihilation photons (Eg1Eg2Eg3). The experimental tests consisted in comparing the number of asymmetric decays of polarized ortho-Ps in two identical reflection-symmetric geometries, and the angular correlation coefficient was calculated from the asymmetry (A). Using our previous results, as well as the results of the other researchers, we particularly discuss the tests carried out at the three and seven-detector system (A = 0.0017 ± 0.0017 and A = 0.0008 ± 0.00091, respectively), together with their measuring errors.
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Radiation Detectors

THE PADME TRACKING SYSTEM

G. Georgiev, V. Kozhuharov, L. Tsankov

Pages: 183-186

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.034

Received: 1 MAR 2016, Received revised: 28 APR 2016, Accepted: 7 MAY 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

The Positron Annihilation into Dark Matter Experiment (PADME) at LNF-INFN Linac aims to perform a search for dark photons in positron-on-target annihilation process. A key component of the setup is the tracking system which allows vetoing the bremsstrahlung-induced background. Different solutions for the detector will be shown and will be discussed. Attention will be paid to the possibility to construct a hybrid tracker based on plastic scintillator fibers read out by CCD matrices.
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Radiation Protection

OIL EXTRACTS OF WILD APPLE FRUIT AS ACTIVE SUBSTANCES IN UV PROTECTION PREPARATIONS

Dragana Stojiljković, Ivana Arsić, Vanja Tadić

Pages: 187-192

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.035

Received: 29 FEB 2016, Received revised: 13 APR 2016, Accepted: 20 APR 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

Permanent skin exposure to the sun may cause a lot of side effects due to the action of UVA and UVB rays. Several studies have shown that polyphenols inhibit the reactive oxygen species formation as their "scavengers", reduce the penetration of UVB rays to sensitive tissues, neutralize free radicals, and because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, participate in the prevention and treatment of many diseases caused by UVB rays. The use of cosmeceuticals rich in polyphenolic compounds represents a good basis for health improvement and prevention of UV-relatedchronic diseases. Apple fruit contains a large number of biologically active antioxidant substances, and their extracts can be potentially used for the prevention and/or treatment of many skin diseases caused by oxidative stress. The aim of our study was to estimate the antioxidant activity of wild apple fruit oil extracts obtained by different extraction methods with virgine olive and sunflower oil as solvents in order to investigate the possibility of their use as active substances with antioxidant effects in dermocosmetic/cosmetic UV skin protection preparations.

Two extraction methods were applied. Method 1 comprised the maceration of the wild apple fruit in olive or sunflower oil on a water bath for 4 hours (Samples S1 and S2). Method 2 comprised the maceration of dry wild apple fruit in 96% ethanol followed by maceration with the olive or sunflower oil extraction, heating up on the water bath and removing the ethanol throughly at same time (S3 and S4). All extracts were prepared in drug:extract ratio of 1:5. Total phenolic content (TPC) was determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu method and expressed as mgGAE/100g d.w. Antioxidant activity was determined by two methods: DPPH test and test with linoleic acid and expressed as %RSC (Radical Scavening Capacity) and %AOA (AntiOxidant Activity), respectively.

The type of used solvent did not have a significant influence on TPC and the antioxidant activity of oil extracts, but the used method of extraction was an important factor. TPC was the best for S4 (996.49 mgGAE/100g d.w.). S3 showed good TPC, too (729.90 mgGAE/100g d.w.). %RSC of S1 and S2 were 14.94% and 18.11%, and %AOA were 62.20% and 61.21%, respectively. The use of 96% ethanol additionally increased the antioxidant capacity (S3 and S4), compared to the extraction with oil solvents only (more in DPPH test). %RSC of S3 and S4 were 20.63% and 35.20%, and %AOA were 63.48% and 66.48%, respectively. All extracts showed a better ability to prevent lipid peroxidation, and a lower one to neutralize free radicals. Emulsions with oil extract showed satisfactory antioxidant activity. Oil extracts of wild apple fruit have good antioxidant possibilities and they can be used as active substances for UV protection.

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Radiation Protection

RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT AT THE NUCLEAR SCIENTIFIC AND EXPERIMENTAL CENTRE OF THE INSTITUTE FOR NUCLEAR RESEARCH AND NUCLEAR ENERGY - BAS

Aleksander Mladenov, Tzvetana Nonova, Dobromir Dimitrov, Kiril Krezhov

Pages: 193-198

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.036

Received: 21 FEB 2016, Received revised: 30 MARCH 2016, Accepted: 8 MAY 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

The paper gives an overview of the management of radioactive waste (RAW) generated during the operation and maintenance of the facilities at the Nuclear Scientific Experimental and Educational Centre (NSEEC) of the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS). It covers the basic procedures adopted at the NSEEC for the collection of solid and liquid RAW, their classification, categorization and storage as well as the chain of command for RAW tracking, transportation and reporting. The accumulated solid RAW is stored according to the international and Bulgarian regulations in separate safe boxes (in the designated premise of every laboratory on the site of NSEEC), in monitored storage rooms (for the I Class Radiochemical Laboratory) and in a separate building (Reactor Equipment Storage). At present, the largest inventory of discarded sources of ionizing radiation is stored in the Gamma Irradiation Facility. In 2009, the low and medium activity liquid RAW stored in the underground tanks of the IRT-2000 research reactor were shipped for final p to the reprocessing facility of Kozloduy NPP and, at present, there are small amounts of low activity liquid RAW stored mainly in the II Class Radiochemical Laboratory. Among the main steps during the implementation of any RAW treatment activities is the detailed assessment of the doses accumulated by the personnel as well as providing the admissible working conditions - devices and accessories, personal means of protection, measuring appliances for overall dosimetry control, conduct of personnel instructions, etc., so that the collected doses are in the permissible limits determined by the legislation in force in Bulgaria and the internal regulations of INRNE for work with sources of ionizing radiation.
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Radioecology

RADIOECOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF BELGRADE CITY, SERBIA

Branislava Mitrović, Svetlana Grdović, Borjana Vranješ, Mihajlo Vićentijević, Jelena Ajtić, Darko Sarvan

Pages: 199-203

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.037

Received: 23 FEB 2016, Received revised: 4 APR 2016, Accepted: 10 APR 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

Activity concentrations of 40K, 238U, 232Th and 137Cs in the samples of cultivated and uncultivated soil, mosses, mushrooms and game meat (wild rabbit, pheasant and wild boar) are measured by the gamma spectrometry technique. The samples were collected in suburban areas of Belgrade, Serbia, in the period from 2008–2014. The mean activity concentrations of 40K, 238U and 232Th in cultivated soil аre 637 Bq·kg-1, 52 Bq·kg-1 and 53 Bq·kg-1, and in uncultivated soil 608 Bq·kg-1, 58 Bq·kg-1 and 55 Bq·kg-1, respectively. An artificial radionuclide 137Cs is detected in the samples of soil, mosses and mushrooms, which indicates that almost 30 years after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl, 137Cs is still present in the environment. Since the activity concentrations of primordial radionuclides and 137Cs in game meat are below detection limit, these samples can be classified as safe for consumption.
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Radioecology

IMPACT OF RAPID WARMING ON THE TRANSFER OF 60Co, 137Cs AND 54Mn FROM SOIL TO GRASS AND WITHIN THE FOOD CHAIN

Miryana Varbeva, Petya Kovacheva

Pages: 204-209

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.038

Received: 29 FEB 2016, Received revised: 22 APR 2016, Accepted: 30 APR 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

Rapid changes of the environmental temperature can alter soil characteristics and influence the migration ability and bioavailability of the radionuclides. Elucidation of the effects of extreme weather conditions on the transfer factors of radionuclides in different soil types is especially important for adequate risk assessment after radioactive contamination. This paper presents the impact of a rapid increase of environmental temperature for a period of one month on the bioaccumulation of 60Co, 137Cs and 54Mn from three soil types to orchard grass. The experiment was performed by soil samples, taken from the surface soil layer 0-10 cm of Albic cambisol, Calcaric chernozem and Gleyic fluvisol soils (classified according to World Reference Base for Soil Resources/FAO) from Bulgaria. The samples were contaminated by a radioactive solution of 60Co, 137Cs and 54Mn, separated into two subsamples and stored during one month at two temperature regimes: 15 оС and 40 оС by using of a climate chamber. Afterwards, the soils were planted with orchard grass and stored at 15 oC during two weeks until growing and the transfer factors were determined. The results showed that rapid warming during one month after radioactive contamination caused a decrease of the transfer of 137Cs from all studied soils to orchard grass. The decrease of the transfer factors of 60Co and 54Mn from the soil with high cation-exchange capacity, higher quartz and muscovite content was determined, while the increase of the transfer factors of 60Co and 54Mn from the soil with very low cation-exchange capacity and lower content of quartz and micaceous minerals was registered. Prognostic maximum specific activities of the radionuclides in the investigated soils, at which milk and meat are harmless to be consumed, were calculated referring to the obtained data.
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Radioecology

CHANGES IN FRACTAL DIMENSION OF PHRAGMITES AUSTRALIS LEAVES UNDER CHRONIC RADIATION EXPOSURE

D. Ganzha, Ch. Ganzha

Pages: 210-215

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.039

Received: 10 MAR 2016, Received revised: 5 MAY 2016, Accepted: 12 MAY 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

We analyzed the fractal dimension of the common reed leaves collected in the Chornobyl exclusion zone in conditions of chronic radiation exposure. On a macroscopic level, the fractal dimension was calculated for images of leaves taken from an optical scanner. On a microscopic level, it was calculated for images obtained from a scanning electronic microscope at 100× and 500× magnification. Statistical analysis showed the dependence of fractal numbers on morphological parameters of leaves on macroscopic and microscopic levels. We found a direct correlation of the fractal dimension of the images to the content of phosphorus and nitrogen compounds in water reservoirs, and a regenerative connection with internal exposure doses, depending on the physical and chemical forms of radionuclides incorporated in the leaves. The results showed the prospect of the application of the fractal analysis of the leaves as an integral figure in the diagnosis of environmental quality.
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Radioecology

ANALYSIS OF EXTREME BERYLLIUM-7 SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES IN SURFACE AIR

Jelena Ajtić, Vladimir Djurdjevic, Darko Sarvan, Erika Brattich, Miguel A. Hernández-Ceballos

Pages: 216-221

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.040

Received: 1 MAR 2016, Received revised: 10 APR 2016, Accepted: 15 APR 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

We present an analysis of the maxima in a large dataset of the beryllium-7 specific activities measured in surface air in Helsinki, Finland, over 25 years (1987-2011), which are stored in the online Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring (REM) database. The maxima are defined as events with the beryllium-7 specific activity above the 95th percentile, which, for the Helsinki data set, equals to 4.82·10-3 Bq·m-3. The beryllium-7 specific activity in Helsinki shows a seasonal pattern with the monthly means above 2.00·10-3 Bq·m-3 during the warm season (April–September), and below 2.00·10-3 Bq·m-3 during the cold season (October–March). The analysis of the extremes shows that 10 % occurred in the cold season, and these “cold extremes” are analysed in more detail. Amongst the cold extremes, three representative “episodes” are identified. The episodes, which occurred in March 1999, February 2003 and February 2005, show extremely high beryllium-7 specific activities measured over several consecutive days. Anomalies of potential vorticity, sea level pressure and surface temperature, as well as precipitation, over Europe and the Atlantic are investigated. A brief analysis of one cold extreme, classified as “burst” since it was an isolated event surrounded by measurements below the 95th percentile, is also presented in an attempt to find common mechanisms that contribute to both cold extreme episodes and bursts. Scandinavia teleconnection index seems to represent a good indicator of potentially preferential atmospheric conditions that could lead to cold extreme episode occurrences in the Scandinavian region.
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Radon and Thoron

RADON EXHALATION OF THE URANIUM TAILINGS DUMP DIGMAI, TAJIKISTAN

M. Schläger, Kh. Murtazaev, B. Rakhmatuloev, P. Zoriy, B. Heuel-Fabianek

Pages: 222-228

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.041

Received: 29 FEB 2016, Received revised: 20 APR 2016, Accepted: 26 APR 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

In a joint project of Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Khujand State University, a radioecological survey of the Digmai uranium tailings dump was carried out in the period from 2012 to 2014. In order to investigate the seasonal variation of the radon emission, automatic long-term measurements of the radon exhalation rate were performed at one location using a new device developed at Forschungszentrum Jülich. Area-wide measurements in 90 places showed the local variation of the exhalation rate all over the dump surface. In addition to exhalation meas¬ure¬ments carried out on the horizontal tailings surface, measurements were also per¬formed on the vertical walls of desiccation cracks where the radon exhalation rate was found to be significantly higher. The total annual radon emission of the tailings dump can be estimated at approximately 250 TBq. Beside the radon measurements, area-wide dose rate measure¬ments were carried out on the surface of the tailings and in tailings samples the Ra-226 activity concentration was measured by means of gamma-ray spectrometry.
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Radon and Thoron

RADON ACTIVITY CONCENTRATION IN DRINKING WATER IN TUZLA CITY, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Amela Kasić, Amira Kasumović, Feriz Adrović, Muhamed Hodžić

Pages: 229-232

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.042

Received: 21 JAN 2016, Received revised: 14 FEB 2016, Accepted: 19 FEB 2016, Published online: 26 DEC 2016

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It is formed naturally from the decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found in different amounts in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into underground water and surface water. In this paper, the results of measurements of radon activity concentration in drinking water from drilled wells in Tuzla City, Bosnia and Herzegovina are presented. The obtained results of radon activity concentration in drinking water samples ranged from 182 mBqL-1 to 2368 mBqL-1 which does not exceed the value of 11.1 BqL-1 recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water. The measurements of radon activity concentration were conducted with AlphaGUARD and AquaKIT equipment (Genitron Instruments).
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Short note

Radiation Protection

PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF A HOME-MADE TLD READER; PRELIMINARY RESULTS

M. Malek Mohammadi, S. M. Hosseini Pooya, B. Firoozi, A. Nabipour Chakoli

Pages: 233-235

DOI: 10.21175/RadJ.2016.03.043

Received: 28 FEB 2016, Received revised: 27 MARCH 2016, Accepted: 1 APR 2016 Published online: 26 DEC 2016

A model of the 7200 hot gas automatic TLD card reader has been designed and manufactured in Iran. This study assesses some performance characteristics of the reader including the linearity of response, stability of readouts during a period of time as well as the reproducibility of TLD readouts. Furthermore, the coefficient of variations (COV) of the parameters has been studied and compared with those of standard criteria. The obtained results show that the TLD reader can be used efficiently in dosimetry laboratories.
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