Optical Stand-Off Detection of Alpha Radiation in Nuclear Facilities
Research output: Book/Report › Doctoral thesis › Collection of Articles
|Number of pages||112|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Oct 2019|
|Publication type||G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)|
|Name||Tampere University Dissertations|
This Thesis summarises the advances of the technology since its first conception and demonstrates its efficacy by remotely detecting alpha contamination in a nuclear research facility. It shows that alpha imaging requires the absence of daylight and that this limitation, together with lower-than-required sensitivity levels, make the technology mostly untenable for use in decommissioning tasks. Radioluminescence of nitric oxide (NO) is presented as a means to improve the sensitivity levels. It is shown that replacing the air around an alpha emitter with a mixture of 50ppm of NO in N2 amplifies the production of ultraviolet light by more than two orders of magnitude. The technique is shown to render the detection resistant to influences of daylight.
A theory is developed that provides an explanation for the production of NO radioluminescence. The theory hypothesises that a specific form of fluorescence quenching and unique access to a reservoir of energy account for much of the light production. It is shown to correctly predict the conditions under which a N2 purge can create NO radioluminescence in otherwise ambient air.
A fully resolved spectrum of the radioluminescence in water is presented. The origins of the radioluminescence are discussed and its utility for the remote detection of alpha radiation in liquids is highlighted.
The Thesis outlines techniques that enable optical alpha detection to overcome both the daylight and the sensitivity problem. Limitations that keep the technology from finding widespread use in decommissioning tasks are directly addressed. The theory can be used to further enhance radioluminescence intensity.