Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Focus Advances in radiation detection

Advances in radiation detection

22 May 2017, 17:31 CET

There are several kinds of radioactive materials, all of which are silver-coloured in their pure state, but varying in colour and physical state.

Some are gasses and some are liquids when in that physical state. Because of that, radiation detection systems are required to be able to distinguish between the various types of radiation in order to effectively detect even small amounts of radiation before they reach dangerous levels. A small radiation dose can be harmful, leading to conditions such as radiation sickness, but a larger one can be fatal. This is particularly important for ionizing radiation, which cannot be detected by the senses as it has no smell, taste, sound, or feeling. Visual inspection is not enough to detect radiation, therefore. For that, there are specialized radiation survey instruments. More related info can be found on

Types of nuclear radiation detectors

Because of the challenges of manufacturers nuclear radiation detection by way of physical inspection, scientists have developed several different types of radiation detectors. These include:

Personal Radiation Detectors

A Personal Radiation Detector, or PRD, is an instrument designed to detect the presence of small changes in the levels of ionizing radiation. The wearer need not have a high level of training to operate the device in order to receive and interpret the results. Through the use of a PRD, the wearer will be made aware of the presence and the source of radiation so that they can keep a safe distance away while the authorities are notified.

Radiation Portal Monitors

Originally developed for screening of personnel and vehicles at locations such as at weapons manufacturing plants and scrap metal plants to detect the presence of radiation that could contaminate the "clean" metal. Throughout history, RPMs have been used to stall nuclear smuggling attempts.

Handheld Survey Meters

A survey meter is a device that can be held in the hand and used to measure the amount of radiation present in a certain location. Some models are able to detect a variety of types of radiation, including alpha, beta, and neutron radiation emissions from a variety of kinds of radioactive materials.

Spectroscopic Personal Radiation Detector

One of the newest classes of radiation equipment is actually a hybrid of a Personal Radiation Detector and Radionuclide Identifier Device, known as a Spectroscopic Personal Radiation Detector. This is a two-in-one instrument that offers the compact size and high level of sensitivity that the PRD offers and the ability to detect the specialized radionuclide isotopes while still offering an affordable price. These devices can distinguish between four different types of radiation: normally occurring radioactive materials, medical radionuclides, special nuclear materials, and industrial radionuclides, all of which can potentially pose a threat to the general public if not detected.

Fortunately, through the amazing advances in radiation detection, it is possible to detect the presence of radiation quickly and effectively, so that the risk of exposure is dramatically reduced. The industry is moving forward at breakneck speed, and new advantages are bring made all the time.

Document Actions
EU Alerts

EUbusiness Week no. 816
EU drive on apprenticeships
→ EUbusiness Week archive

The Week Ahead no. 386
Spring EU summit - Russia - Brexit - future CAP - multimodal freight transport - gas supply from third countries - fair competition in air transport

Subscription options