Your company can not proceed far with the acquisition or use of radiation sources without obtaining appropriate radiation monitoring equipment. In addition to providing advice about the type of equipment you need, Radiation Services WA can tell you where best to obtain the equipment you need — we are also able to source equipment on your behalf. We can also provide you with advice about the specifics requirements surrounding personal dosimetry or suitability of equipment you’re currently using in your operations.

Types of radiation monitoring equipment
These are the main types of radiation survey meters in use:

  • Radiation survey meters – typically measures in uSv/h or counts/second

  • Contamination survey meters – typically measures in Bq/cm2 or counts/second

  • Combination meters

  • Ancillary equipment such as dose equivalent filters

Radiation Services WA has collaborations with many suppliers of radiation monitoring equipment and we are able to supply the types listed above.

Individual Monitoring

There are two main types of personal radiation monitoring devices:

  • Personal Electronic Dosimeters
  • Passive Personal Radiation Monitoring Devices (OSL or TLD)

The advantage of Personal Electronic Dosimeters over passive devices like Thermoluminescent Devices (TLD) or Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) is that they can be used to provide live information on your radiation exposure (often both dose and dose rate), which provides the wearer with situational awareness and the ability to actively manage (and reduce) their radiation exposure in real-time.

Specific Monitoring Requirements

When purchasing a survey meter, you should consider your specific monitoring requirements bay answering the following questions:

  • What type of radiation do you need to detect (gamma, x-ray, alpha, beta, neutron)?

  • Do you need to be able to accurately measure radiation levels or contamination, or just detect radiation?

  • What is the energy of the radiation you need to detect?

  • Does your survey meter need to be intrinsically safe?

  • Are there any legislative requirements related to the type of radiation equipment in use? For example, Industrial Radiography Companies are required to have an analogue gauge, and be able to measure up to 10mSv/h.

Survey meters are typically calibrated for 662keV photons (emitted by Cs-137), but different isotopes have various discrete energy characteristics. If you’re using a radiation source that is not Cs-137, some solutions might include:

  • Applying knowledge of your survey meter energy response curve to obtain a relevant correction factor; or
  • Consider an energy compensated survey meter or one to which an energy compensation filter can be applied.

Most industrial companies use survey meters that incorporate a Gieger-Muller tube. These are relatively cheap, rugged and reliable, however there are alternatives. For example, you could consider purchasing a survey meter that incorporates an Ion Chambers, which will respond accurately to a spectrum of radiation energies (including x-rays).

Measuring neutron radiation requires alternatives to typical radiation detection methods. Neutron survey meters are available, but are expensive and bulky. An alternative is to obtain a neutron to gamma dose rate conversion factor for both an unshielded source and one that takes into account the device shielding profile.

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