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Title: Minimum Detectable Activity for Tomographic Gamma Scanning System

For any radiation measurement system, it is useful to explore and establish the detection limits and a minimum detectable activity (MDA) for the radionuclides of interest, even if the system is to be used at far higher values. The MDA serves as an important figure of merit, and often a system is optimized and configured so that it can meet the MDA requirements of a measurement campaign. The non-destructive assay (NDA) systems based on gamma ray analysis are no exception and well established conventions, such the Currie method, exist for estimating the detection limits and the MDA. However, the Tomographic Gamma Scanning (TGS) technique poses some challenges for the estimation of detection limits and MDAs. The TGS combines high resolution gamma ray spectrometry (HRGS) with low spatial resolution image reconstruction techniques. In non-imaging gamma ray based NDA techniques measured counts in a full energy peak can be used to estimate the activity of a radionuclide, independently of other counting trials. However, in the case of the TGS each “view” is a full spectral grab (each a counting trial), and each scan consists of 150 spectral grabs in the transmission and emission scans per vertical layer of the item. The setmore » of views in a complete scan are then used to solve for the radionuclide activities on a voxel by voxel basis, over 16 layers of a 10x10 voxel grid. Thus, the raw count data are not independent trials any more, but rather constitute input to a matrix solution for the emission image values at the various locations inside the item volume used in the reconstruction. So, the validity of the methods used to estimate MDA for an imaging technique such as TGS warrant a close scrutiny, because the pair-counting concept of Currie is not directly applicable. One can also raise questions as to whether the TGS, along with other image reconstruction techniques which heavily intertwine data, is a suitable method if one expects to measure samples whose activities are at or just above MDA levels. The paper examines methods used to estimate MDAs for a TGS system, and explores possible solutions that can be rigorously defended.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Canberra Industries (AREVA BDNM), Meriden, CT (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2015 Conference, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 15-19 Mar 2015
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
NNSA USDOE - National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States