ISO 18589-7:2013 specifies the identification of radionuclides and the measurement of their activity in soil using in situ gamma spectrometry with portable systems equipped with germanium or scintillation detectors.
ISO 18589-7:2013 is suitable to rapidly assess the activity of artificial and natural radionuclides deposited on or present in soil layers of large areas of a site under investigation.
ISO 18589-7:2013 can be used in connection with radionuclide measurements of soil samples in the laboratory (ISO 18589‑3) in the following cases:
-routine surveillance of the impact of radioactivity released from nuclear installations or of the evolution of radioactivity in the region;
-investigations of accident and incident situations;
-planning and surveillance of remedial action;
-decommissioning of installations or the clearance of materials.
It can also be used for the identification of airborne artificial radionuclides, when assessing the exposure levels inside buildings or during waste disposal operations.
Following a nuclear accident, in situ gamma spectrometry is a powerful method for rapid evaluation of the gamma activity deposited onto the soil surface as well as the surficial contamination of flat objects.