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Health physics

Submerged RadBall® deployments in Hanford Site hot cells containing 137CsCl capsules.


PMID 22647921

Abstract

The overall objective of this study was to demonstrate that a new technology, known as RadBall®, could locate submerged radiological hazards. RadBall® is a novel, passive, radiation detection device that provides a 3-D visualization of radiation from areas where measurements have not been previously possible due to lack of access or extremely high radiation doses. This technology has been under development during recent years, and all of its previous tests have included dry deployments. This study involved, for the first time, underwater RadBall® deployments in hot cells containing 137CsCl capsules at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site. RadBall® can be used to characterize a contaminated room, hot cell, or glovebox by providing the locations of the radiation sources and hazards, identifying the radionuclides present within the cell, and determining the radiation sources' strength (e.g., intensities or dose rates). These parameters have been previously determined for dry deployments; however, only the location of radiation sources and hazards can be determined for an underwater RadBall® deployment. The results from this study include 3-D images representing the location of the radiation sources within the Hanford Site cells. Due to RadBall®'s unique deployability and non-electrical nature, this technology shows significant promise for future characterization of radiation hazards prior to and during the decommissioning of contaminated nuclear facilities.