Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 289, Issue 3, pp 653–661 | Cite as

NORM activity concentration in sediment cores from the Peninsular Malaysia East Coast Exclusive Economic Zone

  • Mei Wo Yii
  • Zal U’yun Wan Mahmood
  • Zaharudin Ahmad
  • Nurrul Assyikeen Md. Jaffary
  • Kamaruzaman Ishak


Study for distribution of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) i.e. 226Ra, 228Ra and 40K in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was carried out as part of the national marine environment project. Sixteen marine sediment cores from selected locations within the EEZ were collected for determination of NORM activity concentrations using high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma spectrometer. From the measurement, the activity concentration of 226Ra, 228Ra and 40K is ranged from 16 ± 4 Bq/kg to 46 ± 6 Bq/kg (total mean 30), 28 ± 7 Bq/kg to 87 ± 11 Bq/kg (total mean 56) and 171 ± 33 Bq/kg to 690 ± 89 Bq/kg (total mean 420), dry wt., respectively. The activity concentrations of radionuclides in most of the core were quite uniform suggesting that there were thorough vertical mixed of sediment throughout the core. The results obtained were also in good agreement with those previous reported from other countries in the region and therefore can be used to enhance present radioactivity database. The calculated external hazard values were ranged from 0.25 to 0.51 with the mean of 0.38 (less than unity) showed little risk of external hazard to the workers handling the sediments and it was likely low level of the mainland natural gamma-radiation in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.


NORM Exclusive Economic Zone External hazards value 



The authors would like to express their special appreciations to the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation Malaysia for providing research funding under e-ScienceFund research grant (04-03-01-SF0020). The authors would also like to thank the captain and crews of the K.L. PAUS and the Department of Fisheries for their support and assistance during sampling expeditions. We would also like to express our gratitude to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) for support throughout this study. Last but not least, the thanks to the personnel of Radiochemistry and Environment Group for their constant support in this study.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Wo Yii
    • 1
  • Zal U’yun Wan Mahmood
    • 1
  • Zaharudin Ahmad
    • 1
  • Nurrul Assyikeen Md. Jaffary
    • 1
  • Kamaruzaman Ishak
    • 1
  1. 1.Malaysian Nuclear AgencyKajangMalaysia

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