Members of the engineering faculty at Oregon State University have invented a new type of radiation detection and measurement device that will be particularly useful for cleanup of sites with radioactive contamination, making the process faster, more accurate, and less expensive.

The spectrometer can quickly tell the type and amount of radionuclides that are present in something like a soil sample, including contaminants such as cesium 137 or strontium 90 that were produced from reactor operations. The device can also distinguish between gamma rays and beta particles, a process that is necessary to determine contamination levels.

The radiation detection instrument may eventually be used in monitoring nuclear energy industry processes, or possibly medical applications such as radioactive tracers. Read More