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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2003;105(1-4):477-82.

Sensitivity of a low energy Ge detector system for in vivo monitoring in the framework of ICRP 78 applications.

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CIEMAT-Internal Dosimetry Group, Avda Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


In in vivo detection of internal contamination by actinides the minimum detectable activities (MDAs) correspond to significant doses, so the sensitivity of the detection system is the key to establishing adequate individual monitoring programmes for internal exposure to these radionuclides. The whole body counting (WBC) faculty at CIEMAT uses a low-energy Ge detector system with different available counting geometries to estimate the retention of actinides in the lungs and evaluate 125I in thyroid and 241Am in bone (skull and knee). A study of the factors and uncertainties involved in estimations of MDA is presented for lung and thyroid monitoring. The dependence of detection limits on counting efficiency in the measurement of low-energy emitters in the lungs has been carefully studied, carrying out a comparison among different biometric equations obtained by ultrasound techniques for estimations of chest wall thickness. Dosimetric implications of the estimated MDAs are taken into account in the framework of ICRP 78 application and considering Spanish regulations. The main interest in lung measurements is for the assessment of occupational exposure. This work confirms the low-energy Ge detector system to be an adequate in vivo technique for the routine monitoring of internal exposure to most insoluble uranium compounds (detection of 3% enriched uranium in lungs), and also to be useful in special monitoring programmes or in the case of incidents when the detection of 241Am is required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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