Abstract

The U3O8 and eU3O8 contents, and the activities of 226Ra and 214Bi, have been determined for samples from two distinctly different geological and environmental localities (Thailand and southern Africa). In both cases, most of the samples show significant disequilibrium. On the basis of these data, the potential difficulties which would be encountered if gamma ray spectrometers (either airborne or surface) were used in the exploration for uranium in these situations are discussed.Using the same data, as well as information from the literature, it is shown that only a limited, variable, and unpredictable amount of 222Rn produced during the decay of 238U (and its daughters) escapes from geological material; this amount is called the emanation factor (E). Thus, in attempting to use 222Rn for exploration purposes, not only must the short half-life (3.8 days) and other problems be considered, but at least of equal importance is the amount of 222Rn which can escape from any sample.

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