Quartz extracted from heated bricks has been previously suggested for use in dose estimation in accident dosimetry, but this technique has never been applied before to Japanese quartz which often has unusual OSL characteristics. In this study the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) characteristics of quartz extracted from a Japanese commercial red brick produced by Mishima – Renga – Seizoujyo Co. are studied. These companies are based in the Aichi Prefecture (capital Nagoya), which accounts for about half of the red brick production in Japan. A comparison of TL (thermoluminescence) and OSL signals has been carried out towards identification of common source traps. It is observed that OSL from Japanese brick quartz shows unusual luminescence characteristics; in particular, the initial fast decaying OSL signal contains a dominant (>90%) thermally unstable component related to the 85 °C TL peak, which necessitates a prior heat treatment. A single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) protocol is developed and tested using thermal treatments intended to isolate a stable dosimetric signal. A minimum detection limit of 65 mGy is then estimated using this protocol. Following irradiation using 60Co and 137Cs, dose–depth profiles were measured on two different commercial brick types (Mishima – Renga – Seizoujyo Co. and Hase – Renga Co.) with 5 Gy and 10 Gy surface doses. The profiles derived from the two sources were readily distinguishable. It is concluded that the OSL signals from the two types of Japanese brick quartz examined here can be used to derive precise estimates of accident dose, and, possibly to distinguish between sources of gamma radiation in a nuclear accident. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the existence of an unstable fast decaying OSL signal in quartz derived from bricks, and demonstrates a way forward with such samples in retrospective dosimetry.
- Radiation physics