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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2002;101(1-4):205-9.

A system for rapid large-area monitoring of gamma dose rates in the environment based on MCP-N (LiF:Mg,Cu,P) TL detectors.

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Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kraków, Poland.


One lesson learned from the Chernobyl accident was that the spatial distribution of far-field contamination was strongly non-uniform due to local variation of atmospheric conditions, such as wind direction, rain etc. An environmental monitoring system using highly sensitive thermoluminescent LiF:Mg,Cu,P (MCP-N) detectors has been completed and field-tested. The system consists of 3000 MCP-N detectors in 1000 TLD cards (three TLDs per card), two Mikrolab automatic TL readers, heating ovens, and specially developed software which includes a database for rapid evaluation of results. The main dosimetric parameters of MCP-N dosemeters, such as thermally-induced fading, light sensitivity, minimum detectable dose, self-dose, zero-dose, energy response up to 6-7 MeV, influence of annealing and readout conditions on detector stability, have been tested. About 100 locations over an area of about 15,000 km2 in the south of Poland were selected for measurements lasting from 4 days to 3 months. The kerma rates measured over a 4 day screening period agree well with kerma rates determined over a 75 day monitoring period. Results from short- and long-term exposure periods agree well with those performed using MTS-N (LiF:Mg,Ti) over southern Poland in 1985, before the Chernobyl accident. Thus, using the system based on MCP-N detectors, one is able simultaneously to monitor environmental radiation kerma rates at a large number of locations over periods of four days or less. Provided natural background kerma rates at selected monitoring points are available prior to the accident, the system can be applied to assess kerma rates rapidly in the environment, following a nuclear accident.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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