Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring


Radiation meters for recycling and scrap markets

December 2014 Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

The RadEye PRD is the next generation of advanced radiation meters. Thermo Scientific’s newest personnel radiation detector (PRD) was developed in response to a growing need for smaller, more compact detectors which have even more sensitivity to unwelcome radioactive sources. The RadEye PRD is a high performance measuring device for use in conjunction with a vehicle monitoring system, for persons who are responsible for detecting and localising radiation sources, such as scale operators, scrap inspectors or quality control personnel.

Radioactive sources can find their way into scrap and recycling yards through both naturally occurring radioactive sources such as scale on pipes in the oil and gas industry and through orphaned industrial sources. Turning away a load could jeopardise a supplier relationship that has been built through extensive effort. Facilities in this situation have an interest not only in protecting their personnel, but also in protecting their own facility as well as their business relationships. The subsequent passing on and melting of an orphaned source can result in millions of rands in lost revenue and cleanup expenses.

The RadEye PRD is a low cost, convenient tool for helping to detect and locate orphaned sources or problematic naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) related sources. For example, if a small or well-shielded radiation source is deeply embedded in the scrap load it may pass through a vehicle monitoring system undetected. However, when the surrounding scrap is removed during the unloading process, the small RadEye unit, worn by key personnel, offers an efficient second line of defence. The RadEye PRD is able to see a potential threat that has entered the facility, and because it is conveniently worn or mounted, personnel will not need to take time or effort away from other duties to get a cumbersome and heavy instrument to scan a load. With the RadEye worn on a belt holster, personnel are always in a position to locate an unwanted radioactive source.

The RadEye weighs a few hundred grams, and is about the size of a pager. The unit is so lightweight and unobtrusive that it can be worn by anyone in the yard. The characteristic features of this versatile pocket meter are the use of sophisticated low power technology components and fully automatic self-checks which result in minimum maintenance. It is the only instrument of this size which is able to compensate for the variations of the natural background that are present in most locations. Thus full sensitivity is combined with the virtual absence of any false alarms.

The RadEye PRD incorporates Thermo’s Natural Background Rejection (NBR) technology. NBR results in enhanced sensitivity with fewer false alarms. It also gives an indication of whether the source is high energy, low energy, or likely to be NORM. Optional dedicated Windows-based GateCheck software and an accompanying reader device are available for downloading scan readings for printing on a radiation certificate, which can then be sent together with the scanned load to the destination.

The RadEye PRD offers scrap yards and recycling facilities a cost effective solution to the threat of radioactive contamination. With its low cost of ownership, durability and portability, it is the next generation of portable instrument solutions with specific application in the steel recycling industry.

For more information contact Mauritz van Niekerk, OEN Enterprises, +27 (0)11 675 4447, mauritz@oenenterprises.co.za, www.oenenterprises.co.za



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