How a new generation of miniaturised devices is changing the radiation detection industry
Technews Industry Guide: Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation 2018, Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring
Exposure to harmful levels of radiation can easily be prevented with a new generation of ultra-small, wearable dosimeters. Less expensive, simpler to use, and portable, these devices boast the same levels of accuracy as their larger counterparts. In fact, miniaturisation is set to become one of the most important trends in the radiation detection market, estimated to become a $1,6 billion industry by 2020.
This growth is caused by falling costs in detection equipment, as well as factors like higher cancer rates, growing popularity of radiation therapy, and fears of nuclear terrorism. Global industry experts include the Middle East and Africa as one of the world’s top three fastest-growing regions. “Recent innovations in lightweight, wearable devices have dramatically reduced the cost of radiation detection, bringing devices within reach of new users,” notes Raymond Naidu, CEO of OEN Enterprises.
These smaller devices are perhaps the industry’s biggest advancement in recent years, in the fight against radiation exposure and contamination. They are capable of detecting alpha, beta, gamma or neutron radiation, sounding different types of alarms depending on the threat levels, and keeping accurate records of the levels detected.
“Mauritz van Niekerk, head of radiation at OEN explains that it is essential to select the right device for one’s needs. For example, while Thermo Scientific’s Electronic Personal Dosimeters, weighing only 95 grams, may be useful for most industries, the RadEye PRD would be required for a customs officer looking for hidden sources of radiation. At 160 grams, the more specialised RadEye PRD is up to 100 000 times more sensitive than typical electronic dosimeters.
These newer ranges of dosimeters capitalise on the power of Big Data. With their data recording and archiving features, users can closely track exposure, measured over periods of time, ensuring that exposure is within certain dose thresholds. South Africa’s National Nuclear Regulator pegs the safe radiation threshold at 20 millisieverts per year, averaged over the past five consecutive years.
“Above all,” notes Naidu, “radiation detection equipment must be 100% reliable. As with anything relating to personal safety, we advocate higher quality and longer lasting dosimeters, to give users the peace of mind that they are fully protected.”
For more information contact Mauritz van Niekerk, OEN Enterprises, +27 (0)11 675 4447, email@example.com, www.oen.co.za
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