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J Environ Radioact. 2017 Feb;167:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.11.027. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Assessment of background gamma radiation levels using airborne gamma ray spectrometer data over uranium deposits, Cuddapah Basin, India - A comparative study of dose rates estimated by AGRS and PGRS.

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Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, Department of Atomic Energy, Begumpet, Hyderabad, India.
Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, Department of Atomic Energy, Begumpet, Hyderabad, India. Electronic address:


The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) has conducted high-resolution airborne gamma ray spectrometer (AGRS), magnetometer and time domain electromagnetic (TDEM) surveys for uranium exploration, along the northern margins of Cuddapah Basin. The survey area includes well known uranium deposits such as Lambapur-Peddagattu, Chitrial and Koppunuru. The AGRS data collected for uranium exploration is utilised for estimating the average absorbed rates in air due to radio-elemental (potassium in %, uranium and thorium in ppm) distribution over these known deposit areas. Further, portable gamma ray spectrometer (PGRS) was used to acquire data over two nearby locations one from Lambapur deposit, and the other from known anomalous zone and subsequently average gamma dose rates were estimated. Representative in-situ rock samples were also collected from these two areas and subjected to radio-elemental concentration analysis by gamma ray spectrometer (GRS) in the laboratory and then dose rates were estimated. Analyses of these three sets of results complement one another, thereby providing a comprehensive picture of the radiation environment over these deposits. The average absorbed area wise dose rate level is estimated to be 130 ± 47 nGy h-1 in Lambapur-Peddagattu, 186 ± 77 nGy h-1 in Chitrial and 63 ± 22 nGy h-1 in Koppunuru. The obtained average dose levels are found to be higher than the world average value of 54 nGy h-1. The gamma absorbed dose rates in nGy h-1 were converted to annual effective dose rates in mSv y-1 as proposed by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). The annual average effective dose rates for the entire surveyed area is 0.12 mSv y-1, which is much lower than the recommended limit of 1 mSv y-1 by International Commission on Radiation protection (ICRP). It may be ascertained here that the present study establishes a reference data set (baseline) in these areas to assess any changes in gamma radiation levels due to mining and milling activities in future.


Airborne gamma ray spectrometry; Dose rate; Gamma radiation; Portable gamma ray spectrometry; Uranium deposits

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