The determination by gamma spectroscopy of the activity of radionuclides emitting low energy radiation (less than 200 keV) in bituminized waste drums can be affected by significant uncertainty if the chemical composition of the matrix is not well-known. Indeed, some elements with high atomic numbers (Z) can significantly modify the absorption of these radiations. The CEA has therefore studied, using numerical simulation, the feasibility of a method which would take into account this effect, based on the analysis of the gamma spectra continuum due to Compton scattering (1). This article describes an experimental validation of the simulations and of the method.

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