The laboratory also has adequate mobile equipment to assess thyroid or whole body activity to be used outside the SCK•CEN domain in the case of incidents or accidents.
The method is inexpensive, has a good sensitivity and an out of hours duty service assures our customers the availability of the equipment and an operator 24/7.
The Whole Body Counting and Lung Counting measurements done in the laboratory are accredited by the Belgian Accreditation Organization (BELAC). Regular participation to international intercomparison exercises assures the quality and validity of our analysis results.
When handling open sources or working in potentially contaminated environments, the risk of intake (by ingestion, inhalation or absorption) of radioactive material inside the body exists. Direct measurement of the body or an organ provides a quick and convenient estimate of activity present inside the body. These measurements, eventually combined with excretion analysis results, allow to evaluate the committed effective dose to be attributed for an internal contamination.
In the Anthropogammametry laboratory of SCK•CEN, people working in nuclear facilities are routinely screened for internal contaminations. Also workers from other industries or from hospitals can be monitored in the laboratory.
In case of an accident it is important to have direct measurement methods to detect whether there has been a contamination or not as these measurements will help to evaluate is any medical treatment is necessary.
In case of incidents outside the domain of SCK•CEN, the mobile equipment of the laboratory can be transported to any location in Belgium. This will allow the fast assessment of internal contaminations of potentially exposed workers or members of the public.
- Five highly shielded rooms with low background
- Two Whole Body Counting setups (using a 8"x4" and a 12"x4" NaI detector, energy range 300 keV – 2000 keV). Detection limits of 25 Bq can be optained for nuclides of interest as 137Cs and 60Co.
- One Lung Counting setup (using two LEGe detectors, energy range 25 keV – 400 keV). With a measurement time of 50 minutes, detection limits around 8 Bq are obtained for 241Am.
- Setup for wound or thyroid counting. With measurement times of 10 to 20 minutes, detection limits of 25 Bq can be obtained for 131I in the thyroid.
- Mobile equipment (using Ge and NaI detectors) for WBC and thyroid monitoring
- Modular Emma phantom with sources for calibration of WBC setups
- Age dependent neck phantom with sources for thyroid calibrations
Anne Laure Lebacq, Vanhavere Filip