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Portal Monitor Characterization for Internally and Externally Deposited Radionuclides

Carey, Matthew; Kryskow, Adam; Straccia, Fred; Tries, Mark*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000177
Operational Topics

In this evaluation, both the internal and external radionuclide detection efficiencies for a portal monitor were evaluated as a function of photon energy using an anthropomorphic phantom. Pass-through and static measurements were completed using 241Am, 57Co, 133Ba, 137Cs, 60Co, 109Cd, and 54Mn in various locations both external and internal to the phantom. Other parameters, such as single detector uniformity, total detector uniformity, background linearity, and activity linearity have been analyzed. It was found that the minimum detectable activity for internally deposited 137Cs in the abdomen was approximately ten times higher for pass-through versus static measurements. Additionally, it was found that the minimum detectable activity for 137Cs in the abdominal region for both internal and external pass-through scenarios are nearly equivalent. In general, if the expected radionuclide source term is primarily non-transuranic, the pass-through mode offers sufficient sensitivity to identify potential overexposures while providing much greater personnel throughput. However, minimum detectable committed effective doses for transuranics such as 241Am, show potential for personnel over exposure if the radionuclide mixture contains a significant fraction of transuranics. It is therefore recommended that nuclear facilities evaluate their radionuclide source term in order to bound potential personnel doses.

*University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Radiological Sciences, University Avenue, MA 01854.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Matthew Glen Carey is a health physicist at Radiation Safety & Control Services, Inc. Previously, he was a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell completing his Master’s thesis on portal monitor characterization. This research involved Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) radiation transport simulations, point kernel efficiency calculations, physical source measurements, and the comparison thereof. He specializes in using MCNP for solving complex health physics radiation transport problems such as shielding design, activation analysis, and detector response. His email address is

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