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Technology Factsheet

Field Transportable Beta Spectrometer

Category: Characterization > Monitors > Asbestos Monitoring
Reference # : OST No 1853 , DOE/EM - 0399 Model No : FTBS

Argonne National Laboratory and Triangle Research, Ltd. have developed a PC controlled, field-transportable Beta counter-spectrometer, which uses solid scintillation, coincident counting, and low-noise photo multiplier tubes to count element-selective filters and other solid media. The dry scintillation counter eliminates the mess and disposal costs of liquid scintillation cocktails. Software in the instrument provides real-time spectral analysis. The instrument can detect and measure Tc99, Sr90, Ce-137 and other beta emitters reaching detection limits in the 20-pci ranges to 40- pci (with shielding). Full analysis can be achieved in 30 minutes. A field demonstration at CP-5 allows for evaluation of potential cost and performance efficiencies. Dimensions of Tech Model (LxWxH): The instrument occupies approximately 2 ft X 3 ftWeight of Tech Model (lb): Not Available


This field-oriented technology can capture data in real-time and offers several potential benefits including faster turn-around time, cost reduction, reduction in secondary waste-There is not secondary mixed waste produced-The potential of this technology include the saving gained from field-generated results.-The basis for decision-making is provided with a rapid turnaround analysis in the field.-This technology would be competitive with the radiometric analysis done in fixed laboratories and the associated chain of custody operations- The Field Transportable Beta Spectrometer is intended to be developed to a point where it is equivalent to the services offered by commercial and government laboratories


Multiple beta sources applied to detectors would strongly affect the qualitative function of the technology.Need more refined electronic and software control in order to reduce the cosmic and other background effectsThe background radiation reaching or generated within the detectors at any location would dictate the limits of analytic detection at that measurement siteThis technology is in the prototype stage of its development and is not a replacement for the services offered from typical government or commercial laboratoryThe Field Transportable Beta Spectrometer does not currently offer the same level of quality assurance and sampling protocol that may be required by various regulatory agenciesEngineering, quality assurance, administrative costs and taxes on services and materials are omitted from this analysis for the same reasons indicated for the overhead rates. The standard labor rates established by ANL for estimating D&D work is used in this analysis for the portions of the work performed by local crafts. Additionally, the analysis uses an eight hour work day with five day weekAll hour equipments rates, used in the estimates, include required maintenance costs and allow for depreciation and the facility's capital cost of money (FCCM). These are computed in accordance with the Construction Equipment Ownership Schedule (USACE EP-1110-1-B, 1995)




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