Have you heard of HD-Spec?
Be prepared for worst-case scenarios – with the SARA high dose rate spectrometer
Reactor operators like to quip that their job is 99% boredom and 1% panic. Although modern nuclear power plants are regarded as some of the safest methods of generating electricity, current technology is unfortunately not yet able to rule out beyond design basis accidents completely. Following this type of incident, dose rates can easily exceed several mSv/h – as was the case in both Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi.
Typical spectroscopic monitoring systems are no longer able to process count rates of this magnitude. By contrast, single-purpose gamma dose rate probes such as MIRA or SARA's integrated Geiger-Mueller counter can handle these activities effortlessly. However, the valuable spectroscopic information is lost: for releases in the vicinity of power plants, the nuclide vector contains information on the sequence of events during the accident; with mixed nuclides it forms the basis for evaluating the biological impact.
Dose rates in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, one month after the accident, with hypothetical placements of SARA with HD-Spec in a typical ring monitoring network; Original picture: Uriy Dzubenko, https://bit.ly/32ydRmO, CC-BY-SA 4.0
The patented SARA high dose rate spectrometer option, "HD-Spec" (pat. no. 10 2016 117 356), recovers this data, thereby filling in the gaps in the radiological situation assessment. Its special CeBr3 detector enables HD-Spec to record spectroscopic measurements of up to 100 mSv/h. Moreover, from summer 2020, HD-Spec can also be combined with a Geiger-Mueller counter, profiting from SARA's extended dose rate detection range up to 10 Sv/h.
ENVINET – Leading in Environmental Radiation Detection