Research and analysis

Whole-body monitoring: a high-resolution radionuclide identifier

This report (HPA-RPD-045) describes the use of a portable radionuclide identifier for preliminary measurements after a radiological incident.



A portable radionuclide identifier (DetectiveTM, Ortec, USA) has been calibrated so that it could be used following a radiological incident to measure radionuclides in whole body and also iodine-131 in thyroid. The system could be deployed very quickly as comparatively little equipment is required and the transportation can easily be achieved by one person. The rapid deployment would allow preliminary measurements to be made before the more sensitive transportable whole body monitor (currently operated by the Public Health England Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards) is available.

An evaluation has shown that, for a range of gamma-emitting radionuclides which could be released following a radiological incident, the instrument can detect activities in the body from intakes that would result in effective doses of less than 1 millisievert. It therefore has sufficient sensitivity to be of value for monitoring. It is not sufficiently sensitive to be used for measurement of commonly encountered actinides in the body.