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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Development of coincident measurement by gamma ray spectrometry

Hugues Paradis has defended his thesis on 16th September 2016, at IPNO, in Orsay.​

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/PRP-ENV/STEME/LMRE

Authors > PARADIS Hugues

Publication Date > 16/09/2016

Summary

The French Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) is in charge of the radiological surveillance of the environment. In this framework the Laboratory of Environment Radioactivity Measurement (LMRE) measures the radioactivity concentrations in various environmental samples: biological matrices (aquatic moss, seaweed, milk, vegetables …), soils, waters or aerosol filters.


Artificial radionuclides searched are in low proportion compared to natural radionuclides: potassium 40 in biological matrices or radon particular daughters in aerosol filters. The significant Compton continuum induced in the gamma spectrum makes difficult the identification and the quantification of radionuclides present at trace level.


The use of two detectors enables to make coincident spectrometry in order to decrease this Compton background. This technique was developed with an existing system of the laboratory, the anti-Compton system, composed of a germanium detector surrounded by a NaI(Tl) scintillator. A data analysis algorithm was developed and also a Monte Carlo calibration if radionuclides measured are not available in standard source. Moreover a new coincident measurement system was designed by Monte Carlo simulation, called Leda consisting of two germanium detectors face to face surrounded by a NaI(Tl) scintillator. This new system overcomes the limits of the anti-Compton system. Different measurement channels improve the detection limits for all radionuclides measured in our laboratory.


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