Nuclear Science & Engineering, PHD Dissertation Defense, Christopher Martel: “Development of a Technique to Detect Intakes of Radioactive Material and their Resulting Radiation Exposures Following a Large-Scale Radiological Release”

Friday, April 19, 2019
2:00 pm


Floor/Room #: 


Large-scale radiological accidents have resulted in intakes of radioactive materials by members of the public and occupational radiation workers.  However, current methods to evaluate intakes are designed for small numbers of individuals and cannot be easily scaled for large populations as has occurred.  A proposed method for high throughput volumes of people to identify and quantify intakes of radioactive material through urine radiobioassay is described.  MATERIALS AND METHODS: The MCNP V6.0 software code was used to model the General Electric Hawkeye V3 Gamma Camera for gamma ray efficiency.  Technitium-99m was used to validate the model. The model was used to calculate detection efficiencies and minimum detectable doses for Cobalt-60, Iodine-131, Cesium-137/Barium-137m and Iridium-192. RESULTS:  Differences of 8% were observed between measurements of the detection efficiency for Technitium-99m and the MCNP modeled detection efficiency (11.1% vs. 12.0%, respectively).  Calculations showed that a dose of 20 mSv could be detected using urine radiobioassay in 6, 3, 2, and 20 days post incident for Type F intakes of Cobalt-60, Iodine-131, Cesium-137/Barium-137m and Iridium-192 respectively. Approximately 1,152 urine samples could be analyzed in an eight-hour shift using a single gamma camera.  CONCLUSIONS: The use of the gamma camera for urine radiobioassay allows for high throughput volumes of samples and has sufficient detection sensitivity to meet dose-based decision guidelines.

Committee Members:

Dr. David Medich (chair), WPI – Physics (Advisor)

Dr. Germano Iannacchione, WPI – Physics

Dr. Armin Ansari, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects