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Nulcear Radiation Sensors

Radionuclide Sensor for Groundwater (220)

Problem: Need sensor to detect Tc-99 in process water and groundwater at concentrations down to drinking water standards.

Photo and Graph of Beads in Sensor Cell Under UV Illumination

Project Activity Scope (from Technical Overview Chart): Mechanisms through Instruments

PNNL Solution:

  • Use chemically selective beads to preconcentrate Tc-99 in the sensor (increases sensitivity and selectivity)
  • Mix with scintillator beads to provide direct measurement of captured Tc-99
  • Integrate sensor cell with light detection, pumping, and filter system
  • Successfully demonstrate reversible operation and required sensitivity

Capabilities Employed to Meet Client Needs: Capabilities employed: Material science; chemical interactions with materials; selective material interactions; integrated preconcentrator/sensor cell design to provide efficient Tc-99 collection and sensing; sensor cell interface design for water sample collection; performance characterization; practical device development for laboratory applications; concept for fieldable sensor. (This capability, applied to sensing and analytical applications, builds on PNNL's extensive background in chemistry and materials used for chemical separations applications for government and industrial clients.)

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Contact: Matthew O'Hara

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