Effect of short-term sensitivity loss in LiF: Mg,Cu,P thermoluminescent dosemeter and its implications on personnel dosimetry operations

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A short-term sensitivity loss in LiF:Mg,Cu,P thermoluminescent dosemeters (TLDs) was observed and is described. Its observation occurred during a pre-irradiation anneal with a slightly elevated maximum temperature (5–15°C), which causes notable under-response (5–10 %) of the subsequent read at the recommended time–temperature profile (TTP), which has a peak temperature of 260°C. A subsequent irradiation and reading using the recommended TTP showed partial or complete recovery of the TLD's sensitivity. To the best of our knowledge, there were no publications on possible implications of a one-time 5–15°C overheat of LiF:Mg,Cu,P TLDs during anneal. This is not unusual when several readers with some variations in their heating cycles are used to calibrate and process the same population of dosemeters. A special test to identify if a small uncontrolled overheating of a dosemeter element has occurred was developed and tested. Two practical implications of the effect of a short-term sensitivity loss in LiF:Mg,Cu,P, e.g. inconsistency in results of metrological traceability verification and reporting of false neutron doses, are described in detail. Simple indicators of a small uncontrolled overheating are provided.

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