Measurement of radioactivity in the environment - Soil - Part 6: Gross alpha and gross beta activities - Test method using gas-flow proportional counting (ISO 18589-6:2019)

This document provides a method that allows an estimation of gross radioactivity of alpha- and beta-emitters present in soil samples. It applies, essentially, to systematic inspections based on comparative measurements or to preliminary site studies to guide the testing staff both in the choice of soil samples for measurement as a priority and in the specific analysis methods for implementation.
The gross α or β radioactivity is generally different from the sum of the effective radioactivities of the radionuclides present since, by convention, the same alpha counting efficiency is assigned for all the alpha emissions and the same beta counting efficiency is assigned for all the beta emissions.
Soil includes rock from bedrock and ore as well as construction materials and products, potery, etc. using naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) or those from technological processes involving Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM), e.g. the mining and processing of mineral sands or phosphate fertilizer production and use.
The test methods described in this document can also be used to assess gross radioactivity of alpha- and beta-emitters in sludge, sediment, construction material and products following proper sampling procedure[2][3][4][5][7][8].
For simplification, the term "soil" used in this document covers the set of elements mentioned above.

Ermittlung der Radioaktivität in der Umwelt - Erdboden - Teil 6: Gesamt-Alpha- und Gesamt-Betaaktivitäten - Messverfahren mit Durchfluss-Proportionalzählung (ISO 18589-6:2019)

Dieses Dokument legt ein Verfahren fest, das die Erfassung der gesamten Radioaktivität der in Bodenproben enthaltenen Alpha- und Betaemitter ermöglicht. Es gilt im Wesentlichen für systematische Überprüfungen auf der Grundlage vergleichender Messungen oder lokaler Vorstudien, um dem Prüfpersonal eine Anleitung sowohl für die Auswahl der vorrangig zu messenden Bodenproben als auch für spezifische Analyseverfahren für die Implementierung an die Hand zu geben.
Die Gesamt-Alpha- oder -Betaaktivität unterscheidet sich generell von der Summe der effektiven Aktivitäten der vorhandenen Radionuklide, da per Konvention dieselbe Alphazählausbeute für alle Alphaemissionen und dieselbe Betazählausbeute für alle Betaemissionen zugeordnet ist.
Erdboden beinhaltet sowohl Brocken von Felsgestein und Erz als auch Baustoffe und -produkte, Keramik usw., natürlich vorkommende radioaktive Stoffe (NORM, en: naturally occurring radioactive materials) oder jene aus technologischen Prozessen, die technologisch verbesserte natürlich vorkommende radioaktive Stof¬fe (TENORM, en: Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) einbeziehen, z. B. die Förderung und die Verarbeitung von mineralischen Sanden oder die Produktion und Anwendung von Phosphatdüngern.
Die in diesem Dokument beschriebenen Prüfverfahren können bei Befolgung eines ordnungsgemäßen Pro¬benahmeverfahrens auch für die Messung der Gesamt-Alpha- und Gesamt-Betaaktivität von Radionukliden in Schlamm, Sediment, Baustoffen und  produkten verwendet werden [2], [3], [4], [5], [7], [8].
Zur Vereinfachung deckt der Begriff „Erdboden“ im vorliegenden Dokument die vorgenannte Reihe von Ele¬menten ab.

Mesurage de la radioactivité dans l'environnement - Sol - Partie 6: Mesurage des activités alpha globale et bêta globale - Méthode d’essai utilisant un compteur proportionnel à circulation gazeuse (ISO 18589-6:2019)

Le présent document spécifie une méthode d'estimation de la radioactivité globale des émetteurs alpha et bêta présents dans les échantillons de sol. Il s'applique essentiellement aux contrôles systématiques basés sur des mesurages comparatifs ou aux études de site préliminaires destinées à guider le personnel en charge des essais dans le choix des échantillons de sol à mesurer en priorité et des méthodes d'analyse spécifiques à mettre en œuvre.
La radioactivité α ou β globale est généralement différente de la somme des radioactivités effectives des radionucléides présents puisque, par convention, le même rendement de comptage alpha est affecté à toutes les émissions alpha et le même rendement de comptage bêta est affecté à toutes les émissions bêta.
Le sol comprend les roches provenant du socle rocheux et le minerai ainsi que les matériaux et produits de construction, de poteries, etc. utilisant des matières radioactives naturelles (MRN), ou celles résultant de procédés technologiques impliquant des matières radioactives naturelles améliorées technologiquement (MRNAT), par exemple l'exploitation minière et le traitement des sables minéraux ou la production et l'utilisation d'engrais phosphatés.
Les méthodes d'essai décrites dans le présent document peuvent également être utilisées pour évaluer la radioactivité globale des émetteurs alpha et bêta dans une boue, dans un sédiment, dans un matériau de construction et dans des produits de construction en suivant un mode opératoire d'échantillonnage approprié[2][3][4][5][7][8].
Pour plus de commodité, le terme « sol » utilisé dans le présent document couvre l'ensemble des éléments susmentionnés.

Merjenje radioaktivnosti v okolju - Tla - 6. del: Skupna alfa in skupna beta aktivnost - Preskusna metoda z uporabo proporcionalnega merjenja pretoka plina (ISO 18589-6:2019)

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
01-oktober-2021
Merjenje radioaktivnosti v okolju - Tla - 6. del: Skupna alfa in skupna beta
aktivnost - Preskusna metoda z uporabo proporcionalnega merjenja pretoka plina
(ISO 18589-6:2019)

Measurement of radioactivity in the environment - Soil - Part 6: Gross alpha and gross

beta activities - Test method using gas-flow proportional counting (ISO 18589-6:2019)

Ermittlung der Radioaktivität in der Umwelt - Erdboden - Teil 6: Gesamt-Alpha- und

Gesamt-Betaaktivitäten - Messverfahren mit Durchfluss Proportionalzählung (ISO 18589

-6:2019)
Mesurage de la radioactivité dans l'environnement - Sol - Partie 6: Mesurage des
activités alpha globale et bêta globale - Méthode d’essai utilisant un compteur
proportionnel à circulation gazeuse (ISO 18589-6:2019)
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ICS:
13.080.99 Drugi standardi v zvezi s Other standards related to
kakovostjo tal soil quality
17.240 Merjenje sevanja Radiation measurements
SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
EN ISO 18589-6
EUROPEAN STANDARD
NORME EUROPÉENNE
August 2021
EUROPÄISCHE NORM
ICS 13.080.01; 17.240
English Version
Measurement of radioactivity in the environment - Soil -
Part 6: Gross alpha and gross beta activities - Test method
using gas-flow proportional counting (ISO 18589-6:2019)

Mesurage de la radioactivité dans l'environnement - Ermittlung der Radioaktivität in der Umwelt -

Sol - Partie 6: Mesurage des activités alpha globale et Erdboden - Teil 6: Gesamt-Alpha- und Gesamt-

bêta globale - Méthode d'essai utilisant un compteur Betaaktivitäten - Messverfahren mit Durchfluss

proportionnel à circulation gazeuse (ISO 18589- Proportionalzählung (ISO 18589-6:2019)

6:2019)
This European Standard was approved by CEN on 25 July 2021.

CEN members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this

European Standard the status of a national standard without any alteration. Up-to-date lists and bibliographical references

concerning such national standards may be obtained on application to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre or to any CEN

member.

This European Standard exists in three official versions (English, French, German). A version in any other language made by

translation under the responsibility of a CEN member into its own language and notified to the CEN-CENELEC Management

Centre has the same status as the official versions.

CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway,

Poland, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and

United Kingdom.
EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDIZATION
COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION
EUROPÄISCHES KOMITEE FÜR NORMUNG
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre: Rue de la Science 23, B-1040 Brussels

© 2021 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved Ref. No. EN ISO 18589-6:2021 E

worldwide for CEN national Members.
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
EN ISO 18589-6:2021 (E)
Contents Page

European foreword ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
EN ISO 18589-6:2021 (E)
European foreword

The text of ISO 18589-6:2019 has been prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 85 "Nuclear energy,

nuclear technologies, and radiological protection” of the International Organization for Standardization

(ISO) and has been taken over as EN ISO 18589-6:2021 by Technical Committee CEN/TC 430 “Nuclear

energy, nuclear technologies, and radiological protection” the secretariat of which is held by AFNOR.

This European Standard shall be given the status of a national standard, either by publication of an

identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by February 2022, and conflicting national standards

shall be withdrawn at the latest by February 2022.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. CEN shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

Any feedback and questions on this document should be directed to the users’ national standards body.

A complete listing of these bodies can be found on the CEN website.

According to the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations, the national standards organizations of the

following countries are bound to implement this European Standard: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,

Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,

Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of

North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the

United Kingdom.
Endorsement notice

The text of ISO 18589-6:2019 has been approved by CEN as EN ISO 18589-6:2021 without any

modification.
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 18589-6
Second edition
2019-12
Measurement of radioactivity in the
environment — Soil —
Part 6:
Gross alpha and gross beta activities
— Test method using gas-flow
proportional counting
Mesurage de la radioactivité dans l'environnement — Sol —
Partie 6: Mesurage des activités alpha globale et bêta globale —
Méthode d’essai utilisant un compteur proportionnel à circulation
gazeuse
Reference number
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
ISO 2019
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2019

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Fax: +41 22 749 09 47
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2019 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Symbols .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

5 Principle ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 2

6 Chemical reagents and equipment .................................................................................................................................................... 2

7 Procedure..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

7.1 Preparation of sources ..................................................................................................................................................................... 3

7.2 Calibration .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

7.2.1 Principle .................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

7.2.2 Procedure ............................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7.3 Calibration curves ................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

7.4 Background determination .......................................................................................................................................................... 5

7.5 Measurement ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

8 Expression of results ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

8.1 Activities per unit mass ................................................................................................................................................................... 5

8.1.1 Calculation of alpha activity per unit of mass ......................................................................................... 5

8.1.2 Calculation of beta activity per unit of mass ............................................................................................ 5

8.2 Standard uncertainty ......................................................................................................................................................................... 6

8.2.1 Standard uncertainty of the alpha activity per unit of mass ...................................................... 6

8.2.2 Standard uncertainty of the beta activity per unit of mass ......................................................... 6

8.3 Decision threshold ............................................................................................................................................................................... 7

8.3.1 Decision threshold of the alpha activity per unit of mass ............................................................ 7

8.3.2 Decision threshold of the beta activity per unit of mass ............................................................... 7

8.4 Detection limit ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

8.4.1 Detection limit of the alpha activity per unit of mass ...................................................................... 8

8.4.2 Detection limit of the beta activity per unit of mass ......................................................................... 8

8.5 Confidence limits................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

9 Test report ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

Annex A (informative) Preparation of reference measurement standards with plutonium 239 ......10

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................12

© ISO 2019 – All rights reserved iii
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following

URL: www .iso .org/ iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 85, Nuclear energy, nuclear technologies

and radiological protection, Subcommittee SC 2, Radiological protection.

This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (ISO 18589-6:2009), which has been

technically revised.
The main change compared to the previous edition is as follows:

— The introduction has been reviewed accordingly to the generic introduction adopted for the

standards published on the radioactivity measurement in the environment.
A list of all parts in the ISO 18589 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv © ISO 2019 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Introduction

Everyone is exposed to natural radiation. The natural sources of radiation are cosmic rays and

naturally occurring radioactive substances which exist in the earth and flora and fauna, including the

human body. Human activities involving the use of radiation and radioactive substances add to the

radiation exposure from this natural exposure. Some of those activities, such as the mining and use

of ores containing naturally-occurring radioactive materials (NORM) and the production of energy

by burning coal that contains such substances, simply enhance the exposure from natural radiation

sources. Nuclear power plants and other nuclear installations use radioactive materials and produce

radioactive effluent and waste during operation and decommissioning. The use of radioactive materials

in industry, agriculture and research is expanding around the globe.

All these human activities give rise to radiation exposures that are only a small fraction of the global

average level of natural exposure. The medical use of radiation is the largest and a growing man-made

source of radiation exposure in developed countries. It includes diagnostic radiology, radiotherapy,

nuclear medicine and interventional radiology.

Radiation exposure also occurs as a result of occupational activities. It is incurred by workers in

industry, medicine and research using radiation or radioactive substances, as well as by passengers

and crew during air travel. The average level of occupational exposures is generally below the global

average level of natural radiation exposure (see Reference [1]).

As uses of radiation increase, so do the potential health risk and the public's concerns. Thus, all these

exposures are regularly assessed in order to:

— improve the understanding of global levels and temporal trends of public and worker exposure;

— evaluate the components of exposure so as to provide a measure of their relative importance;

— identify emerging issues that may warrant more attention and study. While doses to workers are

mostly directly measured, doses to the public are usually assessed by indirect methods using the

results of radioactivity measurements of waste, effluent and/or environmental samples.

To ensure that the data obtained from radioactivity monitoring programs support their intended use, it

is essential that the stakeholders (for example nuclear site operators, regulatory and local authorities)

agree on appropriate methods and procedures for obtaining representative samples and for handling,

storing, preparing and measuring the test samples. An assessment of the overall measurement

uncertainty also needs to be carried out systematically. As reliable, comparable and ‘fit for purpose’

data are an essential requirement for any public health decision based on radioactivity measurements,

international standards of tested and validated radionuclide test methods are an important tool for

the production of such measurement results. The application of standards serves also to guarantee

comparability of the test results over time and between different testing laboratories. Laboratories

apply them to demonstrate their technical competences and to complete proficiency tests successfully

during interlaboratory comparisons, two prerequisites for obtaining national accreditation.

Today, over a hundred International Standards are available to testing laboratories for measuring

radionuclides in different matrices.

Generic standards help testing laboratories to manage the measurement process by setting out the

general requirements and methods to calibrate equipment and validate techniques. These standards

underpin specific standards which describe the test methods to be performed by staff, for example, for

different types of sample. The specific standards cover test methods for:
40 3 14

— naturally-occurring radionuclides (including K, H, C and those originating from the thorium

226 228 234 238 210

and uranium decay series, in particular Ra, Ra, U, U and Pb) which can be found in

materials from natural sources or can be released from technological processes involving naturally

occurring radioactive materials (e.g. the mining and processing of mineral sands or phosphate

fertilizer production and use);
© ISO 2019 – All rights reserved v
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)

— human-made radionuclides, such as transuranium elements (americium, plutonium, neptunium,

3 14 90

and curium), H, C, Sr and gamma-ray emitting radionuclides found in waste, liquid and gaseous

effluent, in environmental matrices (water, air, soil and biota), in food and in animal feed as a result

of authorized releases into the environment, fallout from the explosion in the atmosphere of nuclear

devices and fallout from accidents, such as those that occurred in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

The fraction of the background dose rate to man from environmental radiation, mainly gamma

radiation, is very variable and depends on factors such as the radioactivity of the local rock and soil, the

nature of building materials and the construction of buildings in which people live and work.

A reliable determination of the activity concentration of gamma-ray emitting radionuclides in various

matrices is necessary to assess the potential human exposure, to verify compliance with radiation

protection and environmental protection regulations or to provide guidance on reducing health risks.

Gamma-ray emitting radionuclides are also used as tracers in biology, medicine, physics, chemistry, and

engineering. Accurate measurement of the activities of the radionuclides is also needed for homeland

security and in connection with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

This document describes the requirements to allow an estimation of gross radioactivity of alpha- and

beta-emitters in soil samples after proper sampling, sample handling and test sample preparation in a

testing laboratory or in situ.

This document is to be used in the context of a quality assurance management system (ISO/IEC 17025).

This document is published in several parts for use jointly or separately according to needs. These parts

are complementary and are addressed to those responsible for determining the radioactivity present

in soil, bedrocks and ore (NORM or TENORM). The first two parts are general in nature describe the

setting up of programmes and sampling techniques, methods of general processing of samples in the

laboratory (ISO 18589-1), the sampling strategy and the soil sampling technique, soil sample handling

and preparation (ISO 18589-2). ISO 18589-3 to ISO 18589-5 deal with nuclide-specific test methods

to quantify the activity concentration of gamma emitters radionuclides (ISO 18589-3 and ISO 20042),

plutonium isotopes (ISO 18589-4) and Sr (ISO 18589-5) of soil samples. ISO 18589-6 deals with

non-specific measurements to quantify rapidly gross alpha or gross beta activities and ISO 18589-7

describes in situ measurement of gamma-emitting radionuclides.

The test methods described in ISO 18589-3 to ISO 18589-6 can also be used to measure the radionuclides

in sludge, sediment, construction material and products following proper sampling procedure.

This document is one of a set of International Standards on measurement of radioactivity in the

environment.

Additional parts can be added to ISO 18589 in the future if the standardization of the measurement of

other radionuclides becomes necessary.
vi © ISO 2019 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil —
Part 6:
Gross alpha and gross beta activities — Test method using
gas-flow proportional counting
1 Scope

This document provides a method that allows an estimation of gross radioactivity of alpha- and beta-

emitters present in soil samples. It applies, essentially, to systematic inspections based on comparative

measurements or to preliminary site studies to guide the testing staff both in the choice of soil samples

for measurement as a priority and in the specific analysis methods for implementation.

The gross α or β radioactivity is generally different from the sum of the effective radioactivities of the

radionuclides present since, by convention, the same alpha counting efficiency is assigned for all the

alpha emissions and the same beta counting efficiency is assigned for all the beta emissions.

Soil includes rock from bedrock and ore as well as construction materials and products, potery, etc.

using naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) or those from technological processes

involving Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM), e.g. the

mining and processing of mineral sands or phosphate fertilizer production and use.

The test methods described in this document can also be used to assess gross radioactivity of alpha-

and beta-emitters in sludge, sediment, construction material and products following proper sampling

[2][3][4][5][7][8]
procedure .

For simplification, the term “soil” used in this document covers the set of elements mentioned above.

2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 11074, Soil quality — Vocabulary

ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories

ISO 18589-1, Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil — Part 1: General guidelines and

definitions

ISO 18589-2, Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil — Part 2: Guidance for the selection

of the sampling strategy, sampling and pre-treatment of samples

ISO 18589-4, Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil — Part 4: Plutonium 238 and

plutonium 239 + 240 — Test method using alpha spectrometry
ISO 80000-10, Quantities and units — Part 10: Atomic and nuclear physics
3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in ISO 11074, ISO 18589-1 and

ISO 80000-10 apply.
© ISO 2019 – All rights reserved 1
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org
4 Symbols
m mass of the test portion, expressed in kilograms;
a activity per unit of mass, expressed in becquerel per kilogram;

A , A activity of the standard in the α and β reference measurement standards, expressed in

α β
becquerel;
t sample counting time, expressed in seconds;
t background counting time, expressed in seconds;

t , t α and β reference measurement standards counting time, expressed in seconds;

sα sβ
r , r gross count rate per second, from the α and β windows, respectively
gα gβ
r , r background count rate per second, from the α and β windows, respectively;
0α 0β
r , r calibration count rate per second, from the α and β windows, respectively;
sα sβ
ε , ε counting efficiency for α and β, respectively;
α β

r count rate in the β window when the α reference measurement standard is measured;

sαβ→

χ alpha-beta cross-talk, percentage of α count going into β window from the reference meas-

urement standard;
u(a) standard uncertainty associated with the measurement result;

U expanded uncertainty, calculated by Uk=⋅ua() with k = 1, 2,…, expressed in becquerel

per kilogram;
a decision threshold, expressed in becquerel per kilogram;
a detection limit, expressed in becquerel per kilogram;

lower and upper limits of the confidence interval, expressed in becquerel per kilogram.

aa,
5 Principle

Gross α and β radioactivity are determined by using gas-flow proportional counting or solid scintillation

[1][9][10]

counting on a thin layer of fine soil on a planchette . Gross α and β determinations are not absolute

determinations of the radioactivity of the sample, but relative determinations referring to a specific α-

or β-emitter that constitutes the reference measurement standard. These types of determinations are

also known as the alpha index and beta index.
6 Chemical reagents and equipment
6.1 Degreasing solvent.
2 © ISO 2019 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
®1)
6.2 Fixer, for example cellulose nitrate (Parlodion ), up to 10 g/l in acetone.

6.3 Planchette, stainless steel, with a diameter adapted to the measuring apparatus.

6.4 Analytical balance, accurate to 0,1 mg.

6.5 Gas-flow proportional counter or solid-state scintillation counter (such as ZnS), designed to

discriminate between the alpha and beta radioactivity.
7 Procedure
7.1 Preparation of sources
The preparation of sources involves the following stages.
a) Clean the planchette (6.3) using a degreasing solvent (6.1).

b) Evenly deposit a known mass of the test sample, m, prepared in accordance with ISO 18589-2 in

order to obtain the thinnest possible layer with a surface deposit below 20 mg/cm .

c) The mass of the sample shall fall between the maximum and the minimum values of the

calibrati
...

SLOVENSKI STANDARD
oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
01-junij-2021
Merjenje radioaktivnosti v okolju - Tla - 6. del: Skupna alfa in skupna beta
aktivnost - Preskusna metoda z uporabo proporcionalnega merjenja pretoka plina
(ISO 18589-6:2019)

Measurement of radioactivity in the environment - Soil - Part 6: Gross alpha and gross

beta activities - Test method using gas-flow proportional counting (ISO 18589-6:2019)

Mesurage de la radioactivité dans l'environnement - Sol - Partie 6: Mesurage des
activités alpha globale et bêta globale - Méthode d’essai utilisant un compteur
proportionnel à circulation gazeuse (ISO 18589-6:2019)
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: prEN ISO 18589-6
ICS:
13.080.99 Drugi standardi v zvezi s Other standards related to
kakovostjo tal soil quality
17.240 Merjenje sevanja Radiation measurements
oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 18589-6
Second edition
2019-12
Measurement of radioactivity in the
environment — Soil —
Part 6:
Gross alpha and gross beta activities
— Test method using gas-flow
proportional counting
Mesurage de la radioactivité dans l'environnement — Sol —
Partie 6: Mesurage des activités alpha globale et bêta globale —
Méthode d’essai utilisant un compteur proportionnel à circulation
gazeuse
Reference number
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
ISO 2019
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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2019

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

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Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2019 – All rights reserved
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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Symbols .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

5 Principle ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 2

6 Chemical reagents and equipment .................................................................................................................................................... 2

7 Procedure..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

7.1 Preparation of sources ..................................................................................................................................................................... 3

7.2 Calibration .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

7.2.1 Principle .................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

7.2.2 Procedure ............................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7.3 Calibration curves ................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

7.4 Background determination .......................................................................................................................................................... 5

7.5 Measurement ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

8 Expression of results ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

8.1 Activities per unit mass ................................................................................................................................................................... 5

8.1.1 Calculation of alpha activity per unit of mass ......................................................................................... 5

8.1.2 Calculation of beta activity per unit of mass ............................................................................................ 5

8.2 Standard uncertainty ......................................................................................................................................................................... 6

8.2.1 Standard uncertainty of the alpha activity per unit of mass ...................................................... 6

8.2.2 Standard uncertainty of the beta activity per unit of mass ......................................................... 6

8.3 Decision threshold ............................................................................................................................................................................... 7

8.3.1 Decision threshold of the alpha activity per unit of mass ............................................................ 7

8.3.2 Decision threshold of the beta activity per unit of mass ............................................................... 7

8.4 Detection limit ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

8.4.1 Detection limit of the alpha activity per unit of mass ...................................................................... 8

8.4.2 Detection limit of the beta activity per unit of mass ......................................................................... 8

8.5 Confidence limits................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

9 Test report ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

Annex A (informative) Preparation of reference measurement standards with plutonium 239 ......10

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................12

© ISO 2019 – All rights reserved iii
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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following

URL: www .iso .org/ iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 85, Nuclear energy, nuclear technologies

and radiological protection, Subcommittee SC 2, Radiological protection.

This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (ISO 18589-6:2009), which has been

technically revised.
The main change compared to the previous edition is as follows:

— The introduction has been reviewed accordingly to the generic introduction adopted for the

standards published on the radioactivity measurement in the environment.
A list of all parts in the ISO 18589 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv © ISO 2019 – All rights reserved
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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Introduction

Everyone is exposed to natural radiation. The natural sources of radiation are cosmic rays and

naturally occurring radioactive substances which exist in the earth and flora and fauna, including the

human body. Human activities involving the use of radiation and radioactive substances add to the

radiation exposure from this natural exposure. Some of those activities, such as the mining and use

of ores containing naturally-occurring radioactive materials (NORM) and the production of energy

by burning coal that contains such substances, simply enhance the exposure from natural radiation

sources. Nuclear power plants and other nuclear installations use radioactive materials and produce

radioactive effluent and waste during operation and decommissioning. The use of radioactive materials

in industry, agriculture and research is expanding around the globe.

All these human activities give rise to radiation exposures that are only a small fraction of the global

average level of natural exposure. The medical use of radiation is the largest and a growing man-made

source of radiation exposure in developed countries. It includes diagnostic radiology, radiotherapy,

nuclear medicine and interventional radiology.

Radiation exposure also occurs as a result of occupational activities. It is incurred by workers in

industry, medicine and research using radiation or radioactive substances, as well as by passengers

and crew during air travel. The average level of occupational exposures is generally below the global

average level of natural radiation exposure (see Reference [1]).

As uses of radiation increase, so do the potential health risk and the public's concerns. Thus, all these

exposures are regularly assessed in order to:

— improve the understanding of global levels and temporal trends of public and worker exposure;

— evaluate the components of exposure so as to provide a measure of their relative importance;

— identify emerging issues that may warrant more attention and study. While doses to workers are

mostly directly measured, doses to the public are usually assessed by indirect methods using the

results of radioactivity measurements of waste, effluent and/or environmental samples.

To ensure that the data obtained from radioactivity monitoring programs support their intended use, it

is essential that the stakeholders (for example nuclear site operators, regulatory and local authorities)

agree on appropriate methods and procedures for obtaining representative samples and for handling,

storing, preparing and measuring the test samples. An assessment of the overall measurement

uncertainty also needs to be carried out systematically. As reliable, comparable and ‘fit for purpose’

data are an essential requirement for any public health decision based on radioactivity measurements,

international standards of tested and validated radionuclide test methods are an important tool for

the production of such measurement results. The application of standards serves also to guarantee

comparability of the test results over time and between different testing laboratories. Laboratories

apply them to demonstrate their technical competences and to complete proficiency tests successfully

during interlaboratory comparisons, two prerequisites for obtaining national accreditation.

Today, over a hundred International Standards are available to testing laboratories for measuring

radionuclides in different matrices.

Generic standards help testing laboratories to manage the measurement process by setting out the

general requirements and methods to calibrate equipment and validate techniques. These standards

underpin specific standards which describe the test methods to be performed by staff, for example, for

different types of sample. The specific standards cover test methods for:
40 3 14

— naturally-occurring radionuclides (including K, H, C and those originating from the thorium

226 228 234 238 210

and uranium decay series, in particular Ra, Ra, U, U and Pb) which can be found in

materials from natural sources or can be released from technological processes involving naturally

occurring radioactive materials (e.g. the mining and processing of mineral sands or phosphate

fertilizer production and use);
© ISO 2019 – All rights reserved v
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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
ISO 18589-6:2019(E)

— human-made radionuclides, such as transuranium elements (americium, plutonium, neptunium,

3 14 90

and curium), H, C, Sr and gamma-ray emitting radionuclides found in waste, liquid and gaseous

effluent, in environmental matrices (water, air, soil and biota), in food and in animal feed as a result

of authorized releases into the environment, fallout from the explosion in the atmosphere of nuclear

devices and fallout from accidents, such as those that occurred in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

The fraction of the background dose rate to man from environmental radiation, mainly gamma

radiation, is very variable and depends on factors such as the radioactivity of the local rock and soil, the

nature of building materials and the construction of buildings in which people live and work.

A reliable determination of the activity concentration of gamma-ray emitting radionuclides in various

matrices is necessary to assess the potential human exposure, to verify compliance with radiation

protection and environmental protection regulations or to provide guidance on reducing health risks.

Gamma-ray emitting radionuclides are also used as tracers in biology, medicine, physics, chemistry, and

engineering. Accurate measurement of the activities of the radionuclides is also needed for homeland

security and in connection with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

This document describes the requirements to allow an estimation of gross radioactivity of alpha- and

beta-emitters in soil samples after proper sampling, sample handling and test sample preparation in a

testing laboratory or in situ.

This document is to be used in the context of a quality assurance management system (ISO/IEC 17025).

This document is published in several parts for use jointly or separately according to needs. These parts

are complementary and are addressed to those responsible for determining the radioactivity present

in soil, bedrocks and ore (NORM or TENORM). The first two parts are general in nature describe the

setting up of programmes and sampling techniques, methods of general processing of samples in the

laboratory (ISO 18589-1), the sampling strategy and the soil sampling technique, soil sample handling

and preparation (ISO 18589-2). ISO 18589-3 to ISO 18589-5 deal with nuclide-specific test methods

to quantify the activity concentration of gamma emitters radionuclides (ISO 18589-3 and ISO 20042),

plutonium isotopes (ISO 18589-4) and Sr (ISO 18589-5) of soil samples. ISO 18589-6 deals with

non-specific measurements to quantify rapidly gross alpha or gross beta activities and ISO 18589-7

describes in situ measurement of gamma-emitting radionuclides.

The test methods described in ISO 18589-3 to ISO 18589-6 can also be used to measure the radionuclides

in sludge, sediment, construction material and products following proper sampling procedure.

This document is one of a set of International Standards on measurement of radioactivity in the

environment.

Additional parts can be added to ISO 18589 in the future if the standardization of the measurement of

other radionuclides becomes necessary.
vi © ISO 2019 – All rights reserved
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oSIST prEN ISO 18589-6:2021
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 18589-6:2019(E)
Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil —
Part 6:
Gross alpha and gross beta activities — Test method using
gas-flow proportional counting
1 Scope

This document provides a method that allows an estimation of gross radioactivity of alpha- and beta-

emitters present in soil samples. It applies, essentially, to systematic inspections based on comparative

measurements or to preliminary site studies to guide the testing staff both in the choice of soil samples

for measurement as a priority and in the specific analysis methods for implementation.

The gross α or β radioactivity is generally different from the sum of the effective radioactivities of the

radionuclides present since, by convention, the same alpha counting efficiency is assigned for all the

alpha emissions and the same beta counting efficiency is assigned for all the beta emissions.

Soil includes rock from bedrock and ore as well as construction materials and products, potery, etc.

using naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) or those from technological processes

involving Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM), e.g. the

mining and processing of mineral sands or phosphate fertilizer production and use.

The test methods described in this document can also be used to assess gross radioactivity of alpha-

and beta-emitters in sludge, sediment, construction material and products following proper sampling

[2][3][4][5][7][8]
procedure .

For simplification, the term “soil” used in this document covers the set of elements mentioned above.

2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 11074, Soil quality — Vocabulary

ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories

ISO 18589-1, Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil — Part 1: General guidelines and

definitions

ISO 18589-2, Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil — Part 2: Guidance for the selection

of the sampling strategy, sampling and pre-treatment of samples

ISO 18589-4, Measurement of radioactivity in the environment — Soil — Part 4: Plutonium 238 and

plutonium 239 + 240 — Test method using alpha spectrometry
ISO 80000-10, Quantities and units — Part 10: Atomic and nuclear physics
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the
...

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