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Methods For Radiation Detection

Nov 15

Many radioactive elements have a silvery metallic appearance when pure, but they can also exist as liquids or gases, or have other colors and physical states. And in terms of physical qualities, they can't be distinguished from any other metals that aren't radioactive. Furthermore, ionizing radiation is undetectable to the human senses. That which cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched. This makes it impossible to tell what kind of radioactive material anything is just by looking at it, and it might be next to impossible to spot radiation sources without special indicators. To address these problems, scientists have developed four primary types of detection and identification equipment for radioactive materials and ionizing radiation:

Survey Portal Monitor (RIID) with Integrated Personal Radiation Detector (PRD) (RPM)

Sensor That Can Detect Radiation Directly On An Individual Level (PRD)

A personal radiation detector (PRD) may detect gamma and/or neutron radiation and fits easily into a pocket. Whenever the device detects that it has been subjected to dangerously high levels of radiation, it will sound an alarm and/or flash its screen. Most PRDs include a numeric readout (on a scale from 0 to 9) of the detected radiation intensity, making them useful for localizing a radiation source; however, they are not as sensitive as portable survey meters and cannot determine the type of radioactive material being measured.

A Handheld Device Used By Surveyors

The survey meter is a hand-held instrument for measuring radiation exposure; it can provide readings in counts per minute, counts per second, microroentgen, or microrem per hour. The majority of these sensors can only detect beta and gamma radiation. However, there are variants that can pick up on radioactive materials' beta, gamma, and/or neutron radiation.


One variety of meter is the teletector, which can detect gamma and x-rays. This "telescoping" device may be stretched to a length of around 4 meters (13 feet) and is used to detect extremely high dosage rates without putting the user in harm's way. In addition, these sensors can typically track radiation levels anywhere from 0 to 1,000 rad/h.

Radiation Detection Instrument (RIID)

Radioisotope individual identification detectors (RIIDs) are radiation detectors that can analyze the radiation's energy spectrum to pinpoint the specific radioactive material (radionuclide) emitting the radiation. Moreover, these tools can be utilized as survey equipment in the hunt for radioactive substances.

A Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM)

Workers, trucks, freight containers, and trains can all pass past a massive radiation detector called an RPM (radiation pass-through monitor). Radiation detectors are normally housed in two pillars, and the apparatus is monitored remotely through a screen. Even low-radiation materials like uranium trigger an alarm in these detectors.