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An Integrated System for Conducting Radiological Surveys of Contaminated Sites

[+] Author Affiliations
Jay P. McCown, Donna M. Rogers, Charles A. Waggoner

Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

Paper No. ICEM2009-16312, pp. 507-516; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 2
  • Liverpool, UK, October 11–15, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4408-3 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3865-X
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This paper describes an integrated detection system that has been developed to conduct radiological surveys of sites suspected of contamination of materials such as depleted uranium. This system utilizes cerium activated lanthanum bromide and thallium activated sodium iodide gamma detectors and can be easily adapted to include units for detecting neutrons. The detection system includes software controlling the collection of radiological spectra and GPS data. Two different platforms are described for conducting surveys, a modified zero turn radius (ZTR) mower and a three-wheeled cart that is manually pushed. The detection system software controlling data collection has components that facilitate completing a gridless survey on user specified spacings. Another package confirms that all data quality activities (calibrations, etc.) are conducted prior to beginning the survey and also reviews data to identify areas that have been missed for which data quality falls below user designated parameters. Advanced digital signal processing algorithms are used to enhance the interpretation of spectra for conducting background subtractions and for mapping. Data from radiation detection instruments and GPS antennae are merged and made compatible with mapping using Geosoft Oasis montaj software. A summary of system performance during field-testing is included in the paper. This includes survey rate, detection limits, duty cycle, supporting ancillary equipment/material, and manpower requirements. The rate of false positives and false negatives is discussed with the benefits of surveys conducted using synergetic detection systems such as electromagnetic induction imaging.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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