Radiochemistry

SOCOTEC's radiochemical laboratories have extensive experience in the determination and testing of low level radioactivity in environmental samples, drinking water and food.

We also routinely analyse higher levels of radioactivity associated with contaminated land, decommissioning work and nuclear fingerprinting. We are able to provide sampling teams, problem solving and radioactivity consultancy support to a wide variety of customers. Our clients include government agencies, water companies, nuclear decommissioning contractors and environmental consultancies.

SOCOTEC’s Field Monitoring teams are UKAS accredited for Radiation Monitoring and Environmental Sampling using guidance from the Science Report SC030308 “Best Practice Techniques for Environmental Radiological Monitoring”. 

Our Field Teams have an extensive range of radiation monitoring equipment, including:

  • Mini Instruments environmental radiation meter type 6 80 with compensated Geiger Müller tube type MC-71 for gamma dose-rate measurements
  • Mini Instruments 900 beta/gamma monitor fitted with 2 type SL Geiger Müller probes
  • Thermo Fisher Electra 1B with BP19RD probe for beta dose rate
  • N E Technology Portable Contamination Monitor PCM5/1 with DP2/4 dual phosphor probe for monitoring Excepted Packages
  • Mini Instruments Smart ION for monitoring of excepted packages

All samples are thoroughly documented, preserved and securely transported to our radiochemistry laboratories under storage conditions that minimise or eliminate loss or change of the principal constituents under investigation.  There is also a robust chain of custody procedure that is followed to ensure sample integrity.

Typical Samples Analysed

  • Terrestrial and marine environmental samples
  • Drinking water, crops and food
  • River-water, surface-water, flowing water courses
  • Seawaters
  • Sediments and silts
  • Samples from decommissioning of nuclear facilities
  • Contaminated land
  • HSE approved bioassay service
  • Nuclear fingerprinting

Radionuclides Measured

  • Measurement of alpha, beta and gamma emitting radionuclides:
  • Gross alpha and gross beta screening
  • High resolution gamma ray spectrometry
  • Specific beta emitting radionuclides: 3H, 14C, 35S, 32P and 99Tc
  • Naturally occurring radionuclides such as thorium and uranium with their associated daughter products 210Pb, 210Po, 226Ra and 228Raanthropogenic radionuclides such as 232U, 236U, 237Np, 238Pu, 239/240Pu, 241Pu, 242Pu, 241Am, 242Cm, 243/244Cm

Laboratory Facilities

  • Multiple detector alpha and beta proportional counters
  • Suite of high resolution gamma ray spectrometers (with automatic or robotic sample changers)
  • Multiple detector solid state alpha spectrometers
  • Low background ‘Quantalus’ liquid scintillation counters
  • ICP-Mass Spectrometers

Quality Assurance

Bioassay work at the laboratory is approved under the Ionising Radiation Regulations of the Health & Safety Executive.

Our skilled team provides expert radiochemical analytical support from our UKAS accredited testing laboratory No.1015, for monitoring, decommissioning, demolition and characterisation projects for the nuclear sector.
   
For more information on our work within the nuclear sector, click here. 

 

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