Abstract: Groundwater contamination from 90Sr is an environmental challenge posed topresent and former nuclear weapons related sites. Traditional methods of extractinggroundwater samples and performing laboratory analyses are expensive, time-consumingand induce significant disposal challenges. The authors present here a prototype countercapable of measuring 90Sr groundwater concentrations in-situ at or below the drinking waterlimit of 8 pCi/liter. The 90Y daughter of 90Sr produces high-energy electrons, which cancreate Cerenkov light. Photomultiplier tubes convert the Cerenkov light into an electronicpulse, which then undergoes signal processing with standard electronics. Strontium-90concentrations near the drinking water limit can be measured in a matter of hours if it is insecular equilibrium with the 90Y daughter. The prototype counter is compact, can bedeployed in an American Standard 6-inch, well while operated by a single person, andtransmits the results to a central monitoring location.
Keywords: strontium-90; groundwater monitoring; Cerenkov light.
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Runkle, R.C.; Brodzinski, R.L.; Jordan, D.V.; Hartman, J.S.; Hensley, W.K.; Maynard, M.A.; Sliger, W.A.; Smart, J.E.; Todd, L.C. Cerenkov Counter for In-Situ Groundwater Monitoring of 90Sr. Sensors 2005, 5, 51-60.
Runkle RC, Brodzinski RL, Jordan DV, Hartman JS, Hensley WK, Maynard MA, Sliger WA, Smart JE, Todd LC. Cerenkov Counter for In-Situ Groundwater Monitoring of 90Sr. Sensors. 2005; 5(1):51-60.
Runkle, Robert C.; Brodzinski, Ronald L.; Jordan, David V.; Hartman, John S.; Hensley, Walter K.; Maynard, Melody A.; Sliger, William A.; Smart, John E.; Todd, Lindsay C. 2005. "Cerenkov Counter for In-Situ Groundwater Monitoring of 90Sr." Sensors 5, no. 1: 51-60.