A New Portable Whole Body Counter for Use Following an RDD or IND Event

G.H. Kramer and B.M. Hauck (Human Monitoring Laboratory, Health Canada)

Prior to the tragic events of 11 September 2001 the Human Monitoring Laboratory's (HML) contribution to the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan (which is operated by the Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response Division at the Radiation Protection Bureau) was the contribution of staff and expertise to the Technical Advisory Group and occasionally staff to act as Duty Officer. After the World Trade Centre was destroyed, the Canadian Federal Government rapidly implemented a response initiative and allocated $170 million dollars (Cdn) to a three-phase five-year plan. The HML proposed several solutions to help fill some of the identified gaps and three proposals were accepted. The new field deployable equipment is based on germanium, and the HML has found that it can be used as a whole body counter following an accidental or intentional release of radioactive materials. The counting efficiency can be expressed as a function of photon energy and weight and height of the monitored person. This single function allows a wide range of sizes to be adequately measured in the field. The sensitivity of the portable unit is sufficient for emergency response as it can detect body burdens that will result in a dose that is a few multiples of background or less, depending on the energy of the emitted photons, solubility type, effective half life etc.

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