Date of Award

5-2012

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Physics

Advisor

Charles T. Hess

Second Committee Member

James McClymer

Third Committee Member

George Bernhardt

Abstract

Measurements of Be-7, I-131, Cs-137, and other radionuclide concentrations in near-surface air have been carried out in Orono, Maine utilizing gamma ray spectroscopy of air filters. Be-7 concentrations and seasonal variability have been measured for the past two years. Measurements of Be-7 will aid in our investigation of the relationship between cosmogenic nuclides and solar activity and have applications to aiding us in better understanding the distribution and behavior of Be-7 in surface air. The values of the activity concentrations in Be-7 have an average value of 3.4±1.6 mBq per cubic meter of air Orono,ME. 1-131 and Cs-137 concentrations due to fallout as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident have also been measured at 0.84± 0.07 mBq per cubic meter of air and 1.8±0.2 mBq per cubic meter of air respectively. Measuring these isotopes is important for understanding the risks posed by such accidents and assessing the environmental impact of these nuclides in the environment.

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