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Sensors 2005, 5(1), 51-60; doi:10.3390/s5010051
Article

Cerenkov Counter for In-Situ Groundwater Monitoring of 90Sr

* , , , , , , ,  and
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Boulevard, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA, 99352, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2004 / Accepted: 3 December 2004 / Published: 28 February 2005
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Environmental Monitoring)
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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. strontium-90; groundwater monitoring; Cerenkov light.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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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.

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