Answer to Question #7413 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Instrumentation and Measurements — Surveys and Measurements (SM)

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

We perform radiological environmental monitoring around the four commercial nuclear plants in South Carolina. Currently, we use TLDs (thermoluminescent dosimetry) and continuous air samplers. Are there compatible field detection instruments that are wireless—can be remotely read? And if so, can you point me in the direction to a preferred model/brand and vendor?


There are some vendors/manufacturers who provide systems for remote monitoring of radiation and wireless transmission of data to a home-base station.

In large part, nuclear power plants have used devices such as the TLDs you mention to monitor external radiation levels in the vicinity of the plant. Such passive devices allow integration of dose over a sufficient time period to obtain an output that allows reasonable statistical interpretation of the integrated dose. Obviously, they lack the ability to provide real-time response on a continuous basis as might be possible with sensitive online instruments.

The use of electronic instrumentation often carries with it a penalty in terms of long-term reliability, need for routine maintenance, power requirements, and possibly cost compared to passive TLD systems. If one has a need to be able to observe real-time variations in external radiation levels, then instrumental methods may be necessary. Systems used have more often been intended for internal areas within a facility where ongoing work might produce radiation levels higher than usual background, but some systems have been used/designed for outside environments. I am not comfortable recommending a specific provider, but below are some links to companies that have considerable experience in radiation monitoring, including remote (wireless) monitoring, that might be helpful. You should make clear your specific needs and desires to whatever companies you decide to contact and try to talk with any customers who have purchased and/or used systems similar to what you require.

Synodys (MGP)  
International Medcom  
Thermo Scientific 
Renful Premier Technologies  
Yankee Environmental Systems  

Good luck in your pursuit.

George Chabot, PhD, CHP

Answer posted on 6 May 2008. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.