Beta-exposure in a neutron activation laboratory

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Abstract

In virtually all neutron activation analysis laboratories, researchers are given film badges known as thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD's) that are monitored on a monthly basis. Sometimes additional pocket dosimeters are worn to get a daily reading of exposure, while in other instances ring badges are worn to assess beta doses. However, more than often little consideration is given to beta-exposure rates that arise from the plethora of radionuclides produced in the many types of samples irradiated. A common mistake is to assess gamma-exposures of activated samples that rely on the use of a beta-shield on the survey meter. Our experimental results have shown that there are many high energy beta-particles from neutron activated samples that can easily penetrate the beta-shield and thus give an underestimation of the total beta-exposure.

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