DOSIMETRIC CHARACTERISATION OF A SUB-NATURAL BACKGROUND RADIATION ENVIRONMENT FOR RADIOBIOLOGY INVESTIGATIONS Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Living systems have evolved in the presence of naturally occurring ionising radiation. REPAIR is a research project investigating the biological effects of sub-natural background radiation exposure in SNOLAB, a deep-underground laboratory. Biological systems are being cultured within a sub-background environment as well as two control locations (underground and surface). A comprehensive dosimetric analysis was performed. GEANT4 simulation was used to characterise the contribution from gamma, muons and neutrons. Additionally, dose rates from radon, 40K and 14C were calculated based on measured activity concentrations. The total absorbed dose rate in the sub-background environment was 27 times lower than the surface control, at 2.48 ± 0.20 nGy hr−1, including a >400-fold reduction in the high linear energy transfer components. This modelling quantitatively confirms that the environment within SNOLAB provides a substantially reduced background radiation dose rate, thereby setting the stage for future sub-background biological studies using a variety of model organisms.

authors

  • Kennedy, Konnor J
  • LeBlanc, Alexandre
  • Pirkkanen, Jake
  • Thome, Christopher
  • Tai, TC
  • LeClair, Robert
  • Boreham, Douglas Robert

publication date

  • September 8, 2021