Analysis of Natural and Anthropogenic Radionuclide Content in Palm Date Fruit of the United Arab Emirates: A Baseline Study

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to contribute to a wider effort of establishing an environmental radiation baseline for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the startup of the country’s first nuclear reactor in 2017. An investigation of gamma-emitting radionuclide concentrations in palm dates grown in the UAE was performed. Palm date samples of 10 varieties originating from several local commercial date palm farms of the UAE were collected and analyzed. The study targeted the naturally occurring radionuclides, such as 238U, 232Th, and 40K, in addition to any potential anthropogenic radionuclides, such as 137Cs and others. Gamma spectrometry revealed measured activity concentrations for 238U (226Ra), 232Th (228Ra), and 40K that ranged from 0.61 to 0.80 Bq kg−1, 0.10 to 0.23 Bq kg−1, and 191 to 362 Bq kg−1, respectively, on a dry-weight basis, and calculated activity concentrations on a wet basis ranged from 0.52 to 0.69 Bq kg−1, 0.09 to 0.22 Bq kg−1, and 168 to 297 Bq kg−1, respectively. No 137Cs or other anthropogenic radionuclides could be detected in this study. All measurements were performed using a coaxial HPGe detector with 40% relative efficiency quoted by the manufacturer. Efficiency calibration correction factors were calculated using Angle software.

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