- Center for Radiation Science and Technology, Al-Quds University,
PO Box 20002, Jerusalem , Palestine
- Department of Environmental Radiation, Palestine Environmental Quality Authority, Ramallah , Palestine
- Received November 13, 2008.
- Revision received April 26, 2009.
- Accepted April 27, 2009.
This work presents qualitative and quantitative evaluation of environmental radioactivity in the central and southern areas of the West Bank, Palestine. For this purpose, the technology of in situ gamma-ray spectroscopy is used with a scintillation of 7.6 × 7.6 cm NaI(Tl) crystal connected to multichannel analyzer InSpector 2000 from Canberra instruments and laptop computer. Gamma-ray spectra were collected using the detector placed 1 m above the ground surface. Calibration of the detection system for in situ measurements of gamma-emitting radionuclides in open terrain is performed theoretically using Monte Carlo techniques. Measurements are conducted in 18 locations in 3 regions across the West Bank. The vast majority of identified radionuclides are naturally occurring gamma-emitting sources (the decay products of 238U,232Th and 40K). The only identified anthropogenic radionuclide is 137Cs. Activity concentrations of 40K, 238U, 232Th as well as the total outdoor gamma dose rate from these radionuclides were determined from the gamma-ray spectra. The highest activity concentrations of the three primordial radionuclides were 203 Bq kg−1 for 40K, 32 Bq kg−1 for 238U and 30 Bq kg−1 for 232Th. The total outdoor gamma dose rate calculated for the whole study area at 1 m above ground ranged from 6 to 30 nGy h−1 with a mean of 18 ± 7 nGy h−1, which represents about 30% of the world average value.