Portable radiation detectors

Portable apparatus for the extraction and measurement of radioactive substances from composite materials includes a microwave generator 201 arranged to deliver microwave radiation to a horn 205 to irradiate a workpiece 101. Vapours displaced from the workpiece by the microwave radiation are drawn by a pump 121 through pipework 129 for measurement by an instrument 125 such as a portable mass spectrometer. The apparatus may be used to determine the level of tritium contamination in concrete.

During operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities, quantities of radioactive waste materials are produced. It is normal practice to categorise each item of waste in order to proceed to the most efficient means of processing, storage and/or disposal -with due regard to safety.

In general the higher the level of radioactivity, the more care that must be taken in processing, and the greater the safety measures that must be in place to protect the people involved in the processing; and the greater the cost.

For many isotopes (such as caesium 137) there is a high-energy gamma-ray label that affords easy identification of the extent of radioactive contamination. However, in other cases such as tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen), the situation is more difficult because no characteristic gamma-ray emission is observed.

The present invention is a novel portable system for detection and measurement of contaminants where no gamma label exists, preferably for application in-situ to composite materials.

Attached files:
GB 2461868.jpg

GB 2,461,868


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