Direct measurement of the body or an organ provides a quick and convenient estimate of activity in the body. In the Anthropogammametry laboratory of SCK•CEN, people working in nuclear facilities are screened for internal contaminations.
In case of an accident it is important to be able to directly measure the body to detect whether there has been a contamination or not. The individual is placed in an environment free of radiation (shielded room) to reduce the background.
The method is inexpensive, has a good sensitivity and a permanence system assures the availability of the equipment and an operator 24/7.
The Whole Body Counting and Lung Counting measurements are accredited by the Belgian Accreditation Organisation (BELAC).
Whole Body Counting
The laboratory has two shielded rooms for the measurement of activation and fission products in the entire body. Measurements are done with an 8" or 12" NaI scintillation detector. The measurement takes 5 to 30 minutes. For a 30 minutes measurement, detection limits of 25 Bq are obtained for 137Cs and 60Co. Radionuclides emitting gamma rays between 200 keV and 2000 keV can easily be measured with very good sensitivity (fig. 1 & fig. 2 below).
One shielded room is available for lung counting measurements. Two Low Energy Germanium detectors are measuring simultaneously the actinides in the lungs. With a measurement time of 50 minutes, detection limits around 8 Bq are obtained for 241Am (fig. 3 below).
Calibrations to measure wound contaminations are also available. These measurements are done with an LEGe detector.
Two setups are available to measure the iodine isotopes in the thyroid. Measurements can be done with a NaI detector or with an LEGe detector. With measurement times of 10 to 20 minutes, detection limits of 25 Bq can be obtained for 131I.
For more information or questions about our measurements, don't hesitate to contact us.