Radiation Measurement: 5 Tips to Choose the Right Device for the Job


One look-back at the Chornobyl disaster will make you understand how the danger of radiation looms large on the earth right now. The scariest aspect is that radiation has no colour or odour, and is hence undetectable. Imagine walking straight into a highly radioactive zone without sensing the impending doom. The personnel working in radioactive facilities or those responsible as first-responders in potential radiation risk situations need solid protection to stay safe from the perils of exposure.

If you are planning to buy radiation measurement instruments for your department for the first time, then studying through tons of information all at once may muddle your thoughts. Go through this guide to get equipped with the essential know-how of selecting the perfect radiation measurement devices.

Figure Out The Specifics Of Your Requirement First

Why do you need a radiation measurement device? What is the level of immediate radiation threat which the first-responders of your department might confront?

Though major radiation detection devices have common features, they differ in terms of parameters such as sensitivity, core detection and measurement technology. Take, for instance, a situation where you lead a team of medical technicians in a radiology department, where your primary task is to maintain the radioactive equipment and keep a check on the leakage. Now the kind of device your team needs will hugely differ from one required for industrial workers.

Also, whether you want to have a separate detector for each first-responder or one detector per team is an important decision to make, with significant financial considerations. For a metropolis under a nuclear attack threat, one radiometer for each first-responder would be ideal. But this is certainly not possible if there is a budget constraint. Established manufacturers of radiation detection systems, such as ECOTEST, are a reliable option for anybody looking for a thorough consultation and a wide spectrum of choices.

A Quick Look at the Device Types

The main radiation measurement devices types that rule the market:

  • Personal radiation detector (PRD): Do you remember the sleek and small pagers that stormed up the 90s? Well, PRDs resemble them a lot. But such a compact device is able to detect gamma, beta, and neutron rays quite effectively. Moreover, one can use it in challenging environments such as underwater, in darkness, and in extremely dusty conditions to name a few. Pick up a PRD after researching about the kind of detector that is used (scintillation, semiconductor or GM tube).
  • Dosimeters: A dosimeter comes in a number of varieties – throwaway film badges, pagers and so on. What separates it from PRD is that a dosimeter only measures the radiation dose the first-responder has received while wearing the device. If your industrial unit is prone to gamma radiation, then go for a dosimeter manufactured specifically for detecting gamma rays.


Be Prepared to Invest Time in Proper Usage And Maintenance

Let us assume that you are in a situation wherein you’re expected to neutralize potential radioactive attacks. The aggressors, in such warfare, will try to get hold of radiation measurement machines first in order to deactivate them. So purchasing a radiation measurement device is not enough. You must ensure security measures so that the highly susceptible tools are way beyond unauthorized access.

Also invest enough time to train your resources on operating detection equipment correctly. Be prepared for the situations where radiation measurement devices will fail to differentiate unthreatening sources of radiation from life-threatening ones.

We’ve tried to give you a brief introduction on core radiation measurement appliances and what you should do to purchase the right one. Based on them, delve into the subject deeper and make more inquiries, to come to a buyers’ conclusion.


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