Historical mining of uranium mineral veins within Cornwall, England, has resulted in a significant amount of legacy radiological contamination spread across numerous long disused mining sites. Factors including the poorly documented and aged condition of these sites as well as the highly localised nature of radioactivity limit the success of traditional survey methods. A newly developed terrain-independent unmanned aerial system [UAS] carrying an integrated gamma radiation mapping unit was used for the radiological characterisation of a single legacy mining site. Using this instrument to produce high-spatial-resolution maps, it was possible to determine the radiologically contaminated land areas and to rapidly identify and quantify the degree of contamination and its isotopic nature. The instrument was demonstrated to be a viable tool for the characterisation of similar sites worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 06/02/2015

Structured keywords

  • Cabot Institute


  • Contamination
  • Cornwall
  • Gamma-spectrometry
  • UAV
  • Uranium

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