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BWCHPS 9 November 2021, Technical Program with Paul Madairy
November 9, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
Alpha-Beta Discrimination in Liquid Scintillation Counting By: Paul Madairy, CHP, RSO, Inc.
Liquid scintillation counting is a useful tool for many health physics laboratories supporting radiation safety programs. This instrument is widely used for sample analysis of beta emitting isotopes, and particularly beta emitters such as H3, Ni63, and C14 (less than 200 keV). This is an excellent tool for evaluating samples of alpha emitting isotopes with an efficiency of nearly 100%, and also capable of discrimination between alpha and beta radiation. Because the calibration of the energy scale is accomplished with beta sources, alpha particles will show peaks on the spectrum at 1/10 of the emission energy. This is a substantial overlap in the multichannel analyzer for alpha and beta, so discrimination is accomplished using the length of the pulse, rather than the energy value. With the alpha beta mode enabled, it is practical to count or screen samples with the potential of both alpha and/or beta emitting isotopes.
While a brief discussion of the technology and capabilities will be covered, this presentation is focused on the practical setup, and the required tools to achieve alpha/beta discrimination for both Packard and Beckman instruments.
Paul is a Certified Health Physicist with RSO, Inc. in Laurel MD. Paul is the current Radiation Safety Officer for RSO, Inc., and has worked with numerous universities, government agencies, and private companies to properly manage their radiation safety programs from license applications to decontamination and decommissioning.