Measurement of radioxenon and radioargon in air from soil with elevated uranium concentration

Kastlander, J.; Aldener, M.; Fritioff, T.; Raghoo, L.; Purtschert, R. (2019). Measurement of radioxenon and radioargon in air from soil with elevated uranium concentration. Journal of environmental radioactivity, 197, pp. 62-66. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.12.006

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Among the most important indicators for an underground nuclear explosion are the radioactive xenon isotopes 131mXe, 133Xe, 133mXe and 135Xe and the radioactive argon isotope 37Ar. In order to evaluate a detection of these nuclides in the context of a nuclear test verification regime it is crucial to have knowledge about expected background concentrations. Sub soil gas sampling was carried out on the oil shale ash waste pile in Kvarntorp, Sweden, a location with known elevated uranium content where 133Xe and 37Ar were detected in concentrations up to 120 mBq/m3 and 40 mBq/m3 respectively. These data provides one of the first times when xenon and argon were both detected in the same sub soil gas. This, and the correlations between the radionuclides, the sub soil gas contents (i.e. CO2, O2, and radon) and uranium concentration in the pile, provide very interesting information regarding the natural background and the xenon concentration levels and can most likely be used as an upper limit on what to be expected naturally occurring.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics

UniBE Contributor:

Raghoo, Lauren Samara, Purtschert, Roland


500 Science > 530 Physics








Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

17 May 2021 12:23

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:50

Publisher DOI:





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