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A Review of Dose Rate Meters as First Responders to Ionising Radiation

  • Received : 2019.09.28
  • Accepted : 2019.10.03
  • Published : 2019.09.30

Abstract

Background: Dose rate meters are the most widely used, and perhaps one of the most important tools for the measurement of ionising radiation. They are often the first, or only, device available to a user for an instant check of radiation dose at a certain location. Throughout the world, radiation safety practices rely strongly on the output of these dose rate meters. But how well do we know the quality of their output? Materials and Methods: This review is based on the measurements 1,158 commercially available dose rate meters of 116 different makes and models. Expected versus the displayed dose patterns and consistency was checked at various dose rates between $5{\mu}Gy{\cdot}h^{-1}$ and $2mGy{\cdot}h^{-1}$. Samples of these meters were then selected for further investigation and were exposed to radiation sources covering photon energies from 50 keV to 1.5 MeV. The effect of detector orientation on its reading was also investigated. Rather than focusing on the angular response distribution that is often reported by the manufacturer of the device, this study focussed on the design ergonomics i.e. the angles that the operator will realistically use to measure a dose rate. Results and Discussion: This review shows the scope and boundaries of the ionising radiation dose rate estimations that are made using commonly available meters. Observations showed both inter and intra make and model variations, occasional cases of instrument failure, instrument walk away, and erroneous response. Conclusion: The results indicate the significance of selecting and maintaining suitable monitors for specific applications in radiation safety.

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