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Radon in the Cango Caves.

by Nemangwele, Fhulufhelo

Abstract (Summary)
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive element in the 238U decay series that is found in high concentrations in certain geological formations such as Caves. Exposure to high concentrations of radon has been positively linked to the incidence

of lung cancer. This study used Electret ion chambers and the RAD7 continuous radon monitor to measure radon concentrations in the Cango Caves in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Measurements were taken during summer i.e. February 2004 and March 2005. The results for the radon activity concentrations range from the minimum of

about 800 Bq.m-3 to a maximum of 2600 Bq.m-3. The two techniques give very similar results, though the Electret ion chamber results appear to be consistently higher by a few percent where measurements were taken at the same locations. A

mathematical model has been developed to investigate the radon concentrations in the Cave. Diffusion and ventilation have been considered as mechanisms for explaining the distribution of radon concentrations. The ventilation rate in the Cave has been estimated under certain assumptions, and it is found to be about 7 ×

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of the Western Cape/Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:radiation measurement south africa congo caves radioactivity radioactive substances pollution health aspects

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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