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Title: Development of a low background liquid scintillation counter for a shallow underground laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has recently opened a shallow underground laboratory intended for measurement of lowconcentration levels of radioactive isotopes in samples collected from the environment. The development of a low-background liquid scintillation counter is currently underway to further augment the measurement capabilities within this underground laboratory. Liquid scintillation counting is especially useful for measuring charged particle (e.g., B, a) emitting isotopes with no (orvery weak) gamma-ray yields. The combination of high-efficiency detection of charged particle emission in a liquid scintillation cocktail coupled with the low-background environment of an appropriately-designed shield located in a clean underground laboratory provides the opportunity for increased-sensitivity measurements of a range of isotopes. To take advantage of the 35-meter water-equivalent overburden of the underground laboratory, a series of simulations have evaluated the instrumental shield design requirements to assess the possible background rate achievable. This report presents the design and background evaluation for a shallow underground, low background liquid scintillation counter design for sample measurements.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0969-8043
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Radiation and Isotopes; Journal Volume: 105
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
liquid scintillation counting; low background; shallow underground lab