Index > Appendixes >

C.6 Equipment summary tables

The following summary tables are presented:

  • Table C.1 Radiation detectors with applications to alpha surveys;
  • Table C.2 Radiation detectors with applications to beta surveys;
  • Table C.3 Radiation detectors with applications to X-ray and gamma surveys;
  • Table C.4 Radiation detectors with applications to radon surveys;
  • Table C.5 Systems that measure atomic mass or emissions.
System: Description Application Remarks Equipment
cost
Measurement
cost
Alpha spectroscopy A system using silicon diode surface barrier detectors for alpha energy identification and quantification. Accurately identifies and measures the activity of multiple alpha radio-nuclides in a thin extracted sample of soil, water, or air filters. Sample requires radiochemical separation or other preparation before counting. $10K-$100K $250-$400
Alpha scintillation survey meter < 1 mg/cm2 window, probe face area 50 to 100 cm2. Field measurement of presence or absence of alpha contamination on non-porous surfaces, swipes, and air filters, or on irregular surfaces if the degree of surface shielding is known. Minimum sensitivity is 10 cpm, or 1 cpm with headphones. $1000 $5
Alpha track detector Polycarbonate plastic sheet is placed in contact with a contaminated surface and kept in place. Measures gross alpha surface contamination, soil activity level, or the depth profile of contamination. Alpha radiation produces holes that are enlarged chemically. Density of holes gives a measure of the radioactivity level. $5-$25
Electret ion chamber A charged teflon disk in an open-faced ion chamber. Measures alpha or beta contamination on surfaces and in soils, plus gamma radiation dose or radon concentration. The type of radiation is determined by how the electret is employed, e.g., the unit is kept closed and bagged in plastic to measure gammas. $4,000-$5,000 $8-$25
Long range alpha detector (LRAD) 1m x 1m detector measures ionization inside the box. Attached to tractor for movement. Has location finder and plots graph of contamination. Measures surface contamination or soil concentration at grid points and plots curves of constant contamination. Intended for large areas. Alpha detection limit is 20-50 dpm/100 cm2 or 0.4 Bq/g (10 pCi/g). $25,000 $80
Gas-flow proportional counter (field) Windowless (internal proportional) or window < 0.1 mg/cm2, probe face area 10 to 20 cm2. May have a second or guard detector to reduce background and MDA. Laboratory measurement of water, air, and swipe samples. Highly selective for alpha or beta radiation by pulse shape discrimination. Requires LSC cocktail. $20K-$70K $50-$200

Table C.1 Radiation detectors with applications to alpha surveys (costs estimates year 2002).
.

System: Description Application Remarks Equipment
cost
Measurement cost
GM survey meter with beta pancake probe Thin 1.4 mg/cm2 window detector, probe area 10 to 100 cm2. Surface scanning of personnel, working areas, equipment, and swipes for beta contamination. Laboratory measurement of swipes when connected to a scaler. Relatively high detection limit making it of limited value in final status surveys. $400-$1,500 $5-$10
Gas-flow proportional counter (field) A detector through which P10 gas flows and which measures alpha and beta radiation.
< 1-10 mg/cm2 window, probe face area 50 to 100 cm2.
Surface scanning, surface activity measurement, or field evaluation of swipes. Serves as a screen to determine if more nuclide-specific analyses are needed. Natural radio-nuclides in samples can interfere with the detection of other contaminants. Requires P10 gas, but can be disconnected for hours. $2K-$4K $2-$10/m2
Gas-flow proportional counter (lab) Windowless (internal proportional) or window < 0.1 mg/cm2, probe face area 10 to 20 cm2. May have a second or guard detector to reduce background and MDA. Laboratory measurement of water, air, and swipe samples. Requires P10 gas. Windowless detectors can be contaminated. $4K-$30K $50
Liquid scintillation counter (LSC) Samples are mixed with LSC cocktail and the radiation emitted causes light pulses with proportional intensity. Laboratory analysis of alpha and beta emitters, including spectrometry capabilities. Highly selective for α and β radiation by pulse shape discrimination. Requires LSC cocktail. $20K-$70K $100-$200

Table C.2 Radiation detectors with applications to beta surveys (cost estimates year 2002).
.

System: Description Application Remarks Equipment
cost
Measurement cost
GM survey meter with gamma probe Thick-walled 30 mg/cm2 detector. Measure radiation levels above 0.1 mR/hr. Its non-linear energy response can be corrected by using an energy compensated probe. $400-$1,000 $5
Pressurized ionization chamber (PIC) A highly accurate ionization chamber that is rugged and stable. Excellent for measuring gamma exposure rate during site remediation. Is used in conjunction with radio-nuclide identification equipment. $15K -$50K $50 -$500
Electret ion chamber Electrostatically charged disk inside an ion chamber. Gamma exposure rate. N/A, rented. Included in rental price $8 -$25
Hand-held ion chamber survey meter Ion chamber for measuring higher radiation levels than typical background. Measures true gamma exposure rate. Not very useful for site surveys because of high detection limit above background levels. $800-$1,200 $5
Hand-held pressurized ion chamber survey meter Ion chamber for measuring higher radiation levels than typical background. Measures true gamma exposure rate with more sensitivity than the un-pressurized ion chamber. Not very useful for site surveys because of high detection limit above background levels. $1,000-$1,500 $5
Sodium iodide survey meter Detectors sizes up to 8″×8″. Used in micro R-meter in smaller sizes. Measures low levels of environmental radiation. Its energy response is not linear, so it should be calibrated for the energy field it will measure or have calibration factors developed by comparison with a PIC for a specific site. $2,000 $5
FIDLER (Field Instrument for Detection of Low Energy Radiation) Thin crystals of NaI or CsI. Scanning of gamma/X-radiation from plutonium and americium. $6,000-$7,000 $10-$20
Sodium iodide detector with multi-channel analyzer (MCA) Sodium iodide crystal with a large range of sizes and shapes, connected to a photomultiplier tube and MCA. Laboratory gamma spectroscopy to determine the identity and concentration of gamma emitting radio-nuclides in a sample. Sensitive for surface soil or groundwater contamination. Analysis programs have difficulty if sample contains more than a few isotopes. $6,000-$20,000 $100 to $200
Germanium detector with multi-channel analyzer (MCA) Intrinsic germanium semiconductor in p-or n-type configuration and without a beryllium window. Laboratory gamma spectroscopy to determine the identity and concentration of gamma emitting radio-nuclides in a sample. Very sensitive for surface soil or groundwater contamination. Is especially powerful when more than one radionuclide is present in a sample. $35K-$150K $100 to $200
Portable germanium multi-channel analyzer (MCA) A portable version of a laboratory based germanium detector and multi-channel analyzer. Excellent during characterization through final status survey to identify and quantify the concentration of gamma ray emitting radio-nuclides and in-situ concentrations of soil and other media. Requires a supply of liquid nitrogen or a mechanical cooling system, as well as highly trained operators. $40,000 $100
Field X-ray fluorescence spectrometer Uses silicon or germanium semiconductor. Determining fractional abundance of low percentage metal atoms. $15,000-$75,000 $200
Thermo-luminescence dosimeters (TLDs) Crystals sensitive to gamma radiation. Measure cumulative radiation dose over a period of days to months. Requires special calibration to achieve high accuracy and reproducibility of results. $5K-$50K for reader + $25-$40 per TLD $25-$125

Table C.3 Radiation detectors with applications to X-ray and gamma surveys (costs estimates year 2002).
.

System: Description Application Remarks Equipment
cost
Measurement cost
Large area activated charcoal collector A canister containing activated charcoal is twisted into the surface and left for 24 hours. Short term radon flux measurements. The LLD is 0.007 Bq m-2s-1 (0.2 pCi m-2s-1). N/A, rented $20-$50 including canister.
Continuous radon monitor Air pump and scintillation cell or ionization chamber. Track the real time concentration of radon. Takes 1 to 4 hours for system to equilibrate before starting.
LLD is 0.004-0.04 Bq/l (0.1-1.0 pCi/l).
$10,000-$30,000 $5-$30 including canister if outsourced.
Electret ion chamber This is a charged plastic vessel that can be opened for air to pass into. Measure short-term or long-term radon concentration in indoor air. Must correct reading for gamma background concentration. Electret is sensitive to extremes of temperature and humidity. LLD is 0.007-0.02 Bq/l (0.2-0.5 pCi/l). N/A, rented $8-$25 for rental.
Alpha track detection A small piece of special plastic or film inside a small container. Damage tracks from alpha particles are chemically etched and tracks counted. Measure indoor or outdoor radon concentration in air. LLD is 0.04 Bq l-1d-1
(1 pCi l-1d-1).
$5-$25

Table C.4 Radiation detectors with applications to radon surveys (costs estimates year 2002).
.

System: Description Application Remarks Equipment
cost
Measurement cost
LA-ICP-AES (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emissions Spectrometer) Vaporizes and ionizes the surface material, and measures emissions from the resulting atoms. Live time analysis of radioactive U and Th contamination in the field. Requires expensive equipment and skilled operators. LLD is 0.004 Bq/g (0.1 pCi/g) for 232Th and 0.01 Bq/g (0.3 pCi/g) for 238U.
> $1,000,000 $4,000
LA-ICP-MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer) Vaporizes and ionizes the surface material, then measures the mass of the resulting atoms. Live time analysis of radioactive U and Th contamination in the field. Requires expensive equipment and skilled operators. More sensitive than LA-ICP-AES. LLD is 0.6 Bq/g (15 pCi/g) for 230Th. > $1,000,000 > $4,000
Chemical speciation laser ablation/mass spectrometer A laser changes the sample into an aerosol that it analyzed with a mass spectrometer. Analyze organic and inorganic species with high sensitivity and specificity. Volatilized samples can be carried hundreds of feet to the analysis area. > $1,000,000 > $4,000

Table C.5 Systems that measure atomic mass or emissions