Monitoring pipes for residual alpha contamination

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The sensitivity and application of traditional alpha monitors is limited by the short range of alpha particles in air and in solid materials. Detecting small amounts of alpha-emitting contamination inside pipes presents particular problems. The alpha particle cannot penetrate the walls of the pipe. Associated gamma-ray detection and active neutron interrogation is often used to detect large amounts of radioactive material in pipes, but these methods are of limited use for detecting small amounts of contamination. Insertion of a traditional alpha probes works well in large diameter straight pipes, but is increasingly difficult as the pipe network becomes smaller in ... continued below

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8 p.

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MacArthur, D.; Rawool-Sullivan, M. & Dockray, T. September 1, 1996.

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Description

The sensitivity and application of traditional alpha monitors is limited by the short range of alpha particles in air and in solid materials. Detecting small amounts of alpha-emitting contamination inside pipes presents particular problems. The alpha particle cannot penetrate the walls of the pipe. Associated gamma-ray detection and active neutron interrogation is often used to detect large amounts of radioactive material in pipes, but these methods are of limited use for detecting small amounts of contamination. Insertion of a traditional alpha probes works well in large diameter straight pipes, but is increasingly difficult as the pipe network becomes smaller in diameter and more complex. Monitors based on long-range alpha detection (LRAD) detect ionization of the ambient air rather than the alpha particles themselves. A small fan draws the ions into an externally mounted ion detector. Thus, the air in the pipe serves as both the detector gas and the mechanism for transporting the alpha-induced ions to a detection grid outside the pipe. All of the ions created by all of the contamination in the pipe can be measured in a single detector. Since ambient air serves as the probe, crushed or twisted sections of pipe can be monitored almost as effectively as straight sections. The pipe monitoring system described in the paper was tested both at LANL and BNFL`s Sellafield reprocessing facility in the UK. In this paper, we report on the first field tests of the pipe monitoring system.

Physical Description

8 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE96014640

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  • 37. annual meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Naples, FL (United States), 28 Jul - 1 Aug 1996

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  • Other: DE96014640
  • Report No.: LA-UR--96-2793
  • Report No.: CONF-960767--64
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 379019
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc683982

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  • September 1, 1996

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Feb. 29, 2016, 10:03 p.m.

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MacArthur, D.; Rawool-Sullivan, M. & Dockray, T. Monitoring pipes for residual alpha contamination, article, September 1, 1996; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc683982/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.