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Technology Factsheet

Long Range Alpha Detection for Component Monitoring

Category: Characterization > Monitors > Radiation Monitors
Reference # : OST No 2382 , DOE/EM-0497 Model No : IonSens

The BNFL Instruments IonSensTM Monitor measures alpha contamination on surfaces by detecting the ionized air molecules produced by the alpha particles when they interact with ambient air. The device includes three modular units, an input filter unit, a component chamber, and a detector unit. The component chamber can either be a Large Item Monitor (with an internal volume of about 1 cubic meter), or a Cut Pipe Monitor (about 2 meters long). Three Cut Pipe Modules can be used, giving the ability to monitor pipes and scaffold tubes up to six meters in length. Air is drawn through the assembly, picking up the induced ions and delivering them to the detector unit, which counts the ions and converts them to a corresponding contamination level. A built-in calibration source and an onboard computer make operation simple and straightforward. The software creates a database that includes item identification, total activity, total activity standard error, time, and date. Dimensions of Tech Model (LxWxH): Weight of Tech Model (lb):


Ability to survey areas such as the internal surface of pipe where hand probe and smears are not possible Provides computer printout of surveys Faster than hand surveys of larger items The IonSens(TM) Monitor was demonstrated for monitoring surface contamination levels on pipes and various other items that were candidates for 'free release. The IonSens(TM) Monitor was demonstrated at Savannah River as is commercially available for transfer Foremost advantage of the IonSens Monitoring System is the ability to survey areas such as the internal surface of pipe where hand probe and smears are not possible.


The IonSens system measures total contamination on surfaces being monitoring. The surface are must be calculated by the operator The minimum sensitivity level may not be low enough for some of the transuranic radionuclides release limits Materials with surface charges, such as plastics, tend to attract ions and thus reduce the measured ionization current Alpha particles will not penetrate paint, grease, or liquid. Item should be free of these materials before monitoring The cut Pipe Monitor and 208 large item monitor were not designed to monitor multiple small items and may not give the sensitivity levels required for these items. The technology is not effective for Beta/Gamma contamination, and surfaces inaccessible to the free flow of air




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