For measurements of levels of radioactivity to be most useful to decision makers, some indication of the precision of the figures obtained should be reported. Radiation monitoring procedures often consist of a number of steps and calculations, as for instance in monitoring air samples for particulates. To determine the cumulative error associated with such a measurement, the different sources of error must be identified, the magnitude of their contributions to the error estimated, and the propagation of the error throughout the procedure computed. In this paper errors are classified by several general types and the error propagation equation is presented. The method for determining the cumulative error of the radioactivity measurement is illustrated using as examples the monitoring of 239Pu concentrations in air from working areas and in stacks.
©1976Health Physics Society