Assessment of natural radioactivity and radiation hazards owing to coal fly ash and natural pozzolan Portland cements


The natural radioactivity in coal fly ash and natural pozzolan Portland cement samples produced in Spain was measured by gamma spectrometry. Activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K ranged from 15.7 to 88.3 Bq kg−1, from 12.8 to 81.0 Bq kg−1 and from 37.0 to 678.0 Bq kg−1, respectively. The radiological hazards samples owing to the mentioned natural radioactivity were inferred from determinations of the activity concentration index, I, absorbed dose rate, Dext, and annual effective dose, Ep, which falls within 0.20 mSv to 0.87 mSv (coal-cement) and 0.18 mSv to 0.50 mSv (pozzolan-cement) (≤ 1 mSv, threshold criterion). Therefore, these cements are proper to be used for building purposes as result of their radiological assessment.

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The authors would like to thank the coordination tasks of Marina Romay at OFICEMEN, and the participation of the Spanish cement companies’ members of that Association. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Miguel Ángel Sanjuán.

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Sanjuán, M.Á., Suárez-Navarro, J.A., Argiz, C. et al. Assessment of natural radioactivity and radiation hazards owing to coal fly ash and natural pozzolan Portland cements. J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2020).

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  • Fly ash Portland cement
  • Natural pozzolan Portland cement
  • Radioactivity
  • Activity concentration index
  • Effective dose rate