Orano - logo LEA menu

Radioactive sources for nuclear facilities

  • Zoom on ... RadSources for Nuclear Facilities
    Download
#{name}

Hundreds of radioactive sources are used in nuclear facilities to control and calibrate equipment. This brochure addresses 4 key application fields :

  • Health Physics: Detection of radioactive contamination and exposure of nuclear facilities’ workers
  • Radiation Monitoring Systems: Monitoring of radiation levels in ambient air and released effluents
  • Laboratories: Detection and characterization of radionuclides in process or environment samples
  • Waste characterization: radiological characterization of solid wastes for storage purpose

#{name}

Hundreds of probes and detectors - generally Geiger Muller probes and scintillation detectors – are extensively used in Nuclear Facilities for contamination monitoring of hand-foot, whole body and tools, as well as radiologic surveys and workers' dose rate monitoring.

All these systems must be calibrated and periodically checked with adequate radioactive sources : wide sources for radiation monitors, capsules for dosimeters, linear sources for anthropomorphic phantoms.

Typical sources provided for such equipment are :

 

 

Radiation Moniors

Dosimeters

Anthropo-radiametry

Nuclides

α, β & γ emitters

239Pu, 241Am, 14C, 60Co, 137Cs, 90Sr

γ emitters

60Co, 137Cs

γ emitters

60Co, 133Ba, 137Cs

Activities

From 50 Bq to 10 kBq

From 10 to 500 MBq

From 100 Bq to 2 kBq

Geometries

Wide sources

From 3 to 120 mm diameter or 100 x 100 mm and 100 x 150 mm

Capsules

From 5 to 8 mm diameter and 5 to 15 height

Linear sources

5 mm diameter x 160 mm de height

 

Radiation monitors

Nuclear workers are often screened or scan themselves in several locations inside radiological controlled zones, to ensure that they have not been contaminated during operations.

Mobile systems

Immediately nearby workplaces, portable polyradiameters are widely used to screen the most likely contamination locations (hands, feet, head, respiratory tract protection device, tools,…)

 

Polyradiamètre Portable Polyradiameter © MIRION TECHNOLOGIE

Fixed systems

Between workplaces and radiological uncontrolled zones, several automatic measurement devices are used to detect contamination on objects, tools or workers.

Objects Objects or tools monitor © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES
hand-foot Hand-Foot Monitor © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES
wholebody Whole body monitors © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES

Here are the most adapted sources:

Types

Radionuclides

Activities

Disc 

α

239Pu, 241Am

0.05 – 0.1 – 0.4 – 0.5 kBq

β

14C, 60Co, 137Cs, 90Sr

1 – 2 - 4 – 6 – 8 kBq

Square

α

241Am

0.4 – 1kBq

β

60Co, 137Cs, 90Sr

4kBq

étalées Wide Disc Source © LEA - Cyril Delestrade
étalées2 Wide Square Source © LEA - Cyril Crespeau

Dosimeters

Like radiation protection devices for contamination monitoring, active gamma dosimeters need to be periodically checked.

These calibrations can be performed with small gamma and neutron irradiators, powered by a radioactive capsule (typically in the range of hundreds of MBq or GBq of 60Co,137Cs,252Cf, AmBe). Probes and radiameters or radiation beacons can also be checked with such a device.

 

dosimètres

Anthropo-radiametry

BOMAB – BOttle Mannikin ABsorber – and IGOR phantoms are used to calibrate whole body counting systems. These mannikins are filled with radioactive sources in order to simulate internal contaminations.

The BOMAB phantom is composed of 10 polyethylene cylindrical or elliptical bottles, filled with a radioactive liquid.

The IGOR phantom is composed of 70 right-angled polyethylene blocs, filled with linear sealed sources. For each IGOR, LEA produces hundreds of linear sources, composed of gamma emitters – 60Co, 133Ba, 137Cs, 152Eu – alone or mixed.

1et6 (bis) IGOR © RADEK 2et3 Linear sources © LEA - Cyril Crespeau
BOMAB Sources-filaires-IGOR
#{name}

 

Radiation Monitoring Systems are used in nuclear facilities to measure radioactivity of liquid or gaseous effluents, and airborne or area radioactivity.

Liquid and gaseous effluents are continuously generated by operating Nuclear Power Plants (for instance the radioactivity potentially released in the environment must be controlled and monitored).

Airborne and area radioactivity are continuously monitored inside radiological controlled zones with fixed systems, to ensure that workers are not exposed to internal contamination. In addition to this collective protection, mobile systems are deployed immediately nearby workplaces.

These systems are calibrated and periodically checked with appropriated radioactive sources : needles or filters for airborne monitors, capsules, charcoals or gas containers for effluents monitors.

Equipments
BAB Mobile airborne monitors © BERTIN ludlium Fixed airborne monitors © LUDLUM
balise ABPM Mobile airborne monitors © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES Balise ICAM Fixed airborne monitors © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES
Sources
Aiguille Needle sources © LEA - Cyril Crespeau Carte Card sources © LEA - Cyril Crespeau
Filtre Filter sources © LEA - Cyril Crespeau Source Tiroir Drawer Sources © LEA - Cyril Crespeau

Types

Radionuclides

Activities

Filter

Mix of α, β, γ

57Co, 60Co, 65Zn, 85Sr, 88Y, 109Cd, 137Cs, 139Ce, 241Am

10 – 20- 40 kBq

Needle

α

239Pu

2 kBq

βγ

137Cs

2 kBq

Card

α

241Am

0.3 – 0.6 kBq

Area monitors

équipement de mesure utilisant source capsule Fixed area monitors © CEA GIM-203k Fixed area monitors © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES
Capsules (3)-détourée Capsule sources © LEA

Types

Radionuclides

Activities

Capsules γ

60Co, 137Cs, 241Am

50 – 100 – 370 - 700 kBq

Liquid and gaseous effluents release monitoring

Monitoring any release of liquid or gaseous effluents is crucial to protect people and the environment around nuclear facilities. Most frequently measured radionuclides around NPPs are 3H, 14C and iodines.

These measurements are performed with in-line or off-line systems which are calibrated and periodically checked with appropriate standard, sealed (capsules, charcoals) or unsealed (gas) sources.

Equipments
Inlineliquid2 In-line liquid effluent monitors © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES
inlinegas2 In-line gaseous effluent monitor © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES
Gamon S In-line gaseous monitors © CAEN
Sources
Capsules (3)-détourée Capsule sources © LEA
EDC Charcoal sources © LEA - Cyril Crespeau
EZSA Gas bulb © LEA - Cyril Crespeau Conteneur-métallique-gaz (1) Gas container (SG50 or SG3000) © LEA - Cyril Delestrade
EZSE Gas bottle (500 liters) © LEA - Cyril Crespeau

Types

Radionuclides

Activities

Capsules

γ

60Co, 137Cs, 241Am

50 – 100 – 370 - 700 kBq

Gas

γ

85Kr

240 kBq – 100 MBq

Charcoal

γ

241Am

4 kBq

Mix of α, β, γ

51Cr, 54Mn, 57Co, 60Co, 

65Zn, 85Sr, 88Y, 109Cd, 

113Sn, 137Cs, 139Ce, 241Am

20 kBq total

#{name}

A wide variety of radioactive sources is used in Radiochemistry and Environment laboratories in order to calibrate and check potential deviation of equipment, mainly on Alpha & Gamma counters and spectrometers, as well as Liquid scintillators:

  • Single or mixed α, β, γ emitters • Multiple geometries and matrices (solid, liquid, resin…)
  • Activities from 80 Bq to 1 GBq

Typical applications

Alpha counters used for identification and quantification of alpha emitters through gross count or spectrometry α measurements.

Liquid scintillation counters for quantification of pure beta emitters such as 3H, 14C, 90Sr in liquid samples.

Gamma ray detectors made with HPGe (High Purity Germanium) crystal for quantification of γ emitters ( 137mBa, 110mAg,…) or αγ emitters ( 239Pu, 241Am,…) or βγ emitters ( 137Cs, 60Co, 152Eu, 133Ba,…).


alpha analyst Alpha analyst © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES EASA (2) Punctual α source © LEA - Cyril Crespeau
TRICARB Liquid scintillation counters © PERKIN ELMER Pack Liquides (1) β liquid source © LEA
Germanium Germanium © CANBERRA Pack Résine γ or multi γ resin source © LEA

punctual α

EASA EASC
EASB EASD

punctual β

EBSA
EBSB
EBSC

punctual γ

EGSV2 EGSA
EGSB2 EGSE
EGSC

Liquids and Resins

EGRH EGRE
EGRR ELSB

Frequently purchased sources

Types

Radionuclides

Activities

Ponctual

α

238Pu, 239Pu, 241Am, 244Cm

0.3 – 3 kBq

β

14C, 36Cl, 60Co, 137Cs, 147Pm, 90Sr

0.08 – 3 kBq

γ

60Co, 133Ba, 137Cs, 152Eu

4 -40 – 80 – 400 – 3.500 kBq

Resin

γ

60Co, 137Cs, 152Eu

5 – 37 – 100 – 420 kBq

Liquid

α

241Am, 243Am, 244Cm

0.8 – 4 – 200 kBq

β

3H, 14C, 55Fe

200 – 400 – 4.000 kBq

γ

60Co, 134Cs, 137Cs, 152Eu

20 – 200 – 4.000 kBq

#{name}

Before leaving nuclear facilities for storage or disposal, nuclear wastes are characterized with several Non Destructive Assay (NDA) systems. One purpose of these NDA technics is to sort out waste according to AIEA thresholds : HLW (High Level Waste), ILW (Intermediate Level Waste), LLW ( Low Level Waste) and VLLW (Very Low Level Waste).

Most of the NDA systems are composed of gamma ray spectrometers and passive neutron systems. NDA systems are often linked to a modeling software to calculate the efficiency curve of the drum to be assayed but radioactive sources are still required for calibration and periodical checks of detectors’ efficiencies.

The most common radioactive sources (tens kBq to several MBq) are as follows:

  • γ emitters (152Eu, 133Ba, 60Co, 137Cs, 241Am, …)
  • Neutron emitters (252Cf, AmBe)

Typical nda systems

Equipments
spectrogamma Automated GRS systems © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES HpGEmobil2 Mobile GRS systems © AMETEK-ORTEC
spectrogamma2 Automated GRS systems © BSI HpGEmobil Mobile GRS systems © BSI
Sources
EGSB EGSB © LEA - Cyril Crespeau
EGSV EGSV © LEA - Cyril Crespeau

Types

Radionuclides

Activities

Punctual sources

60Co, 133Ba, 137Cs, 152Eu, 241Am

40 – 400 – 700 – 3.500 kBq

 

 

Based on neutron detectors

 

passiveneutron Passive neutron system for radioactive drums © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES passiveneutron2 Passive neutron system for radioactive drums © MIRION TECHNOLOGIES
Capsules (3)-détourée Capsule source © LEA

Types

Radionuclides

Activities

Capsule

252Cf

70 – 370 – 700 – 1.800 kBq

LEAContact
See more
By clicking “I accept Cookies”, you agree with the cookies use to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage and compile statistics. To get more information, please read our Cookies Policy in the Legal Notice