A procedure is being tested in order to determine its suitability for assessing the intrinsic ability of the ground as a particular site to supply 222Rn to a basement structure to be built on the site. Soil gas is sucked from a borehold probe through an alpha scintillation chamber and flow meter by a pump. The permeability of the soil is calculated from the flow rate and the pressure difference between the atmosphere and the borehold at the intake point. The diffusion coefficient is estimated from the water fraction in the soil pores. The upward migration distance for radon in such soil during one mean life is computed for an arbitrary steady pressure difference. This mean migration distance, multiplied by the measured radon concentration, gives the 'radon availability number'. Measurements at sites of known indoor radon concentration suggest that numbers below 2 kBq ?? m-2 indicate little chance of elevated indoor radon and above 20 kBq ?? m-2 indicate that elevated indoor radon is likely. The range of uncertainty and the point-to-point and seasonal variations to be expected are under investigation.
Additional publication details
A tentative protocol for measurement of radon availability from the ground