Measurements of natural background radiation in the Polkowice mine (CUPRUM) and the Barbara Experimental Mine
On July 20-22, 2020, a group of researchers from the Institute of Physics of the University of Silesia (Poland) and the National Center for Nuclear Research (Poland) performed additional measurements of natural radiation at the Conceptual Lab development co-ordinated by KGHM Cuprum R&D center. These studies were similar to those previously carried out at the Reiche Zeche mine (Germany) and at Callio Lab (Finland) as part of the BSUIN project.
The research included:
- in-situ gamma-ray measurements using gamma spectrometry and semiconductor high purity germanium detector (HPGe),
- measurements of radon concentration in the air with the use of RAD7 detector,
- measurements of thermal neutron flux with helium counters.
Additionally, 7 rock samples were collected for laboratory analysis at the Institute of Physics of the University of Silesia.
The research was performed in one of the corridors of the Polkowice mine near SW-1 Mining shaft. The preliminary results show a relatively low level of natural radioactivity in the test site.
Measurement of the natural radiation background in the Polkowice mine using gamma spectrometry.
Another similar study of natural radiation was carried out in the Barbara Experimental Mine belonging to the Central Mining Institute (Poland). The Barbara Experimental Mine in Mikołów is the only research and development institution in Poland and Europe which has a test site for testing devices, equipment, materials and procedures in real underground conditions.
In-situ measurements were carried out on September 10-19, 2020 in a stone excavation. Additionally, measurements of the radon concentration in air and neutron flux were performed before, during and after the rock explosion.
Also, 18 rock samples from the studied location were collected for laboratory measurements at the Institute of Physics of the University of Silesia, using gamma spectrometry. Researchers from the Central Mining Institute also joined the measurements of radon concentration in the air, which was an excellent opportunity to compare their measurements results and measuring equipment.
Measurement of radon concentration in air with the RAD7 detector (left), natural gamma background radiation using gamma spectrometry (center) and thermal neutron flux using helium counters (right) at the Barbara Experimental Mine. Fot. K.Szkliniarz and K.Jędrzejczak