Gamma spectroscopy is the science (or art) of identification and/or quantification of radionuclides by analysis of the gamma-ray energy spectrum produced in a gamma-ray spectrometer. It is a widely used technique, well illustrated by the following list of examples:
Environmental Radioactivity Monitoring
Health Physics Personnel Monitoring
Reactor Corrosion Monitoring
Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Homeland Security
Forensics and Nuclear Forensics
Geology and Minerology
Nuclear Medicine and Radiophamaceuticals
Industrial Process Monitoring
The OS1700 collects tritium from gaseous and vapor systems using a two-stage collection process for the accurate determination of tritium in elemental and oxide forms. It is designed for unattended, continuous operation so an average concentration of tritium-in-air over a suitable sampling interval, typically one week, can be easily obtained. At the end of the sampling period, an operator can measure the amount of tritium captured by removing the sampler vials and placing them into a liquid scintillation counter. Apart from adding the scintillation cocktail, there is no need for any processing of the sample as is typical with desiccant collectors.
A wide range of applications require the measurement of event times to nanosecond or picosecond resolution. The event may be the arrival time of an electronic pulse, or the time at which a photon or charged particle strikes a detector. Typical applications are in LIDAR, time-correlated single-photon counting, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, fluorescence lifetime spectrometry, and detection of gamma-rays, neutrons, alpha particles, beta particles, and ions from nuclear decays. ORTEC offers several fully-tested, turn-key systems.
Positron Lifetime Picosecond Timing System (PLS-SYSTEM)
These systems are useful in testing predictions of quantum theory with regard to the differences between electron and positron interactions with matter, as well as the study of various material structures and processes. Historically, defect studies in metals have been a major application area for positron lifetime techniques. Recently, this work has extended to defect studies in alloys and non-metals as well as some biological systems.
Compton Suppression Counting Systems
Compton-Suppression Systems are used to reduce the background continuum for low-background counting, thus improving the Minimum Detectable Activity and overall spectrum quality – particularly for small volume samples such as air filters and petri dishes.
ORTEC has supplied dozens of Compton-Suppression Systems throughout the world to meet the demanding needs of very low background counting applications.
ORTEC has evaluated a large variety of HPGe detectors with a range of performance parameters in efficiency, resolution, and Peak-to-Compton values to determine the optimal combinations of instrumentation to achieve the best overall performance.
The Gross Gamma Screening system is intended for the rapid screening of urine samples for the presence of elevated radioactivity in a post-radiological event scenario. This system allows up to eight urine samples to be counted simultaneously in discretely shielded 3” x 3” NaI Well detectors to quickly identify elevated radioactivity from personnel in the exposed population. This screening process provides critical information to Emergency Response Agencies and is accomplished with minimal operator training.
ORTEC is a specialist in on-line spectroscopy systems used for monitoring Nuclear Power Plant fuel integrity, radioactivity release to the environment, and processes such as radioactive liquid clean-up or material separations. These systems are supplied in a variety of standard configurations based on high or low resolution detectors (HPGe, NaI, and others) with computer or hardware based electronics and control systems that may be modified to comply with additional customer specifications. The following are a few examples of deployed on-line monitoring systems currently in use.
Sentinel Digital Failed Fuel Spectrometer (Model OS5400)
This extremely stable and reliable system monitors concentrations of fission and activation products in reactor plant systems to detect degradation in the fuel boundary integrity based on key isotope activity levels and their relative abundances. The FINESS System is an excellent example of this type of system.
OS5500 Clamp-On Water Monitoring System
Ideal for monitoring gamma activity of water and other system fluids flowing continuously through a pipe. Potential users include nuclear power plants, waste reprocessing facilities, and DOE facilities.
Plutonium Process Monitoring System
Developed specifically for monitoring at a plutonium processing facility, this system exemplifies our commitment to meet your specific application needs. The application includes process controls such as I/O for valve manipulations or alarms, activity trends, QA monitoring, and data storage for post-processing data review.
Fuel Rod Scanning System
Developed specifically for trending activity levels at thousands of positions along nuclear fuel rods using multiple detectors to minimize the travel length of the rod. Systems such as this can be integrated with motion control systems and modified to interface with your systems to provide automated alarms and other process control functions.
Experiments in Nuclear Science
ORTEC supports academic teaching laboratories across a wide range of disciplines: Nuclear Engineering and Technology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Radio-pharmacy. Specifically, ORTEC offers packaged experiments with accompanying scripts, which include tutorial information, experimental set-up instructions, methods and student exercises.
AN34 Teaching Experiments
The ORTEC AN34 Laboratory Manual offers a wide selection of pre-scripted teaching laboratory experiments for use in nuclear science undergraduate laboratories.
Two editions of experiments are offered. Third Edition experiments are based on the use of classic NIM modules. Newly developed Fourth Edition experiments combine both classic NIMs and new offerings including integrated and digital electronic products. The new "EASY-NIM" product suite is featured extensively in the AN34 Fourth Edition.
The broad ORTEC range of nuclear instrumentation relating to radiation detection and spectroscopy includes: Radiation Detectors, Modular (NIM) Signal Processing Modules for pulse counting and fast timing, as well as modules and Digital Electronics for generalized Multichannel Analysis.
This modularity provides a cost-effective, re-configurable approach to teaching experiment instrumentation. For example, several experiments in the AN34 Laboratory Manual may be configured with little or no addition to the basic equipment: simply reconfigure what you already have!
Partnership and Support
ORTEC extends support through partnerships with teaching facilities in universities and other educational institutions to develop and advance, new pre-scripted experiments.
If you have developed teaching experiments employing ORTEC products, we would welcome the opportunity to include them on this site for others to use. We are happy to acknowledge the institution for the contribution of the experimental script, and to provide a link to the contributor's departmental website.
ORTEC offers an extensive lineup of radiation measurement instruments and systems for alpha and gamma spectroscopy, gross alpha/beta counting, health physics and waste assay, educational experiments, specialized applications and more.
These solutions range from basic instrumentation to full suite product packages, up to and including, complex custom design systems.
Regardless of your choice, you can count on superior ORTEC performance and commitment to quality and service.
The safe and economical disposal of radioactive waste is a major preoccupation on many licensed nuclear sites. Prior to disposal, waste must be characterized according to its level and type of activity and certified. Burial regulations vary from country to country, but universally the cost of burial of radioactive material is high. Accurate measurements can help to minimize burial costs. Waste may come in a variety of forms, and activity levels. Sample numbers may be small, allowing the use of manual systems, or for large throughput requirements automated conveyors may be required. ORTEC has a range of assay systems capable of helping in the assay and segregation of waste streams of many types, incorporating ORTEC high performance spectrometric components and software.
Detection and quantification of radioactive material within the body is a key factor in determining internal personnel contamination and dose assessment. These measurements can be made on body fluid samples using lab instrumentation or through direct measurement of personnel. The measurement of body fluids is generally less attractive due to the bio-hazards and lack of immediate results unless non-gamma emitting nuclide measurements are required. The direct measurement of personnel for gamma emitting radioactive material provides rapid results, can determine where the material may be located within the body, and does not require mobility of the material through body fluids for detection.
ORTEC provides direct personnel measurement systems for quick screening or routine investigation using NaI and HPGe detectors where the subject can be positioned by standing, sitting, or lying down with fixed or moving detection configurations. All of these systems use ORTEC’s Renaissance software application for simple system setup and operation.
ORTEC strives to meet your measurement needs in every aspect. If one of our standard solutions is not the answer, we have the expertise, equipment, and commitment to design and develop robust solutions that satisfy your particular application requirements. This is the primary role of our Integrated System Group (ISG) which provides the following services:
Integration and Test of standard products to ensure proper equipment configuration, software installation, and verification of warranty specifications as applicable.
Design and develop custom software and hardware solutions to meet special application needs.
Assemble and test special systems associated with the following applications:
Whole Body Counting
In-Situ waste and contamination
On-Line Process Monitoring
Air Sample Collection
Whether you need just one spectrometer or many, ORTEC has choices to suit your needs.
Today’s alpha spectroscopist requires superior electronics, software, hardware, and procedures to produce high resolution spectra. To support this need, ORTEC offers charged particle detectors, multichannel analyzers (MCA), vacuum chambers, recoil contamination avoidance hardware, analytical software, or a complete turn-key integrated alpha spectroscopy system with multiple detectors.
For low background and high efficiency, start with ORTEC’s ULTRA series ion implanted silicon detectors. Then choose from a wide selection of MCA hardware for proper signal processing. Using ORTEC’s MAESTRO software, the spectral data can be viewed as it is being acquired, or stored for later evaluation.
Whether you have one detector or several hundred detectors, the AlphaVision software package makes sample management, data acquisition, and data processing simple. LIMS integration capability ensures reliable and consistent results that are free of transcription errors. AlphaVision also provides multi-parameter quality assurance to monitor detector performance and radiochemistry procedures.
To prevent recoil contamination from contaminating your low background detectors, ORTEC offers a Recoil Contamination Avoidance Package (RCAP).
ORTEC's time tested products for alpha spectroscopy, combined with a staff with decades of experience in the field of spectrometry, give ORTEC the capability to help you meet your spectrometry needs. So whether it’s nuclear power counting room, radiochemistry laboratory, continuous air monitoring (CAM) or research applications, ORTEC can provide you the right solution.
Manual Counting Systems
ORTEC offers a full suite of MANUAL alpha/beta counters incorporating either gas-flow proportional detector or dual-phosphor scintillation detector technologies. These manual, single detector systems are ideally suited for applications requiring long count times for a small number of samples.
Automatic Counting Systems
ORTEC offers an extensive lineup of AUTOMATIC alpha/beta counters incorporating either gas-flow proportional detector or dual-phosphor scintillation detector technologies. These automatic systems are ideally suited for applications requiring relatively short counting times for a large number of samples.
ORTEC offers a superior alpha/beta counting system for customers seeking premium performance in a multi-detector, high throughput, high sensitivity system. The Multi-Detector System (MDS) is a third-generation, multi-detector, low-background system for low-level background alpha and beta counting. The MDS series can be configured to accommodate 4, 8, 12, or 16 detectors to facilitate customer specific sample volume and throughput rate requirements.
Food Monitoring Solutions for Rapid Screening and High Resolution Assay of Radioactive Contamination are Available in the Following Models:
FoodGuard-1 based on NaI Detection Technology for Rapid Screening
FoodGuard-2 Based on HPGe Detection Technology for High Resolution Assay