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An Aerial Gamma Ray Search for a Missing 137Cs Source in the Niger Delta, May 1991

Sanderson, D.C.W., and Allyson, J.D. (1991) An Aerial Gamma Ray Search for a Missing 137Cs Source in the Niger Delta, May 1991. Project Report. Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, Glasgow, UK.

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Abstract

The technique of aerial gamma-ray spectrometry has been applied to the search for a missing 74 GBq 137Cs source in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Comparisons with a duplicate source confirm that an unshielded source of this type is readily detected at the normal survey height of 100m. It is also possible to detect the shielded source at closer range providing the survey altitude does not exceed about 50m. The detection of an unshielded source is very likely at the normal survey altitude of 100m. A survey of the populated zones of Warri and river routes to Otumara was conducted between 9th and 19th May 1991. The results demonstrate that the missing source was not present in this area in an unshielded form at this time. Signals likely to have been due to a shielded radiocaesium source were recorded. To date no source has been recovered, but investigations are continuing. High radiation readings were recorded over part of Forcados Village, on the banks of the Warri River. They are associated with a high Thorium/Uranium concentrated source. Ground level investigations are recommended to identify the origin of these signals and evaluate their potential radiological implications. If the missing source is not located by further ground based operations, it is suggested that consideration be given to remobilising a wider and more comprehensive aerial search.

Item Type:Research Report or Paper (Project Report)
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s):Sanderson, Prof David
Authors: Sanderson, D.C.W., and Allyson, J.D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Publisher:Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre
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