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Open AccessArticle

Low-Background Shielding Box for Autoradiography of Environmental Samples and the α-, β-, and γ-ray Sensitivities of the Imaging Plates

by Kiyoshi Shizuma 1,* and Yurika Oba 2,†
1
Graduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8527, Japan
2
Global Career Design Center, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8521, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present Address: Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-oiwakecho, Sakyoku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(23), 5209; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9235209
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 26 November 2019 / Published: 29 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology)
Autoradiography using imaging plates is a conventional method for the visualization of the distribution of radionuclides. Imaging plates have high sensitivity to the charged particles of α- and β-rays but are also sensitive to γ-rays. When the radioactivity level in the sample is low, a longer exposure time is needed, and shielding of the natural background radiation is necessary. Large imaging plates (e.g., 35 × 40 cm), which can obtain the radioactivity distribution over a wider area, were developed. In this work, a low-background shielding box is developed for large imaging plates, and the shielding characteristics of the box and sensitivities of the imaging plate to α-, β-, and γ-rays are quantitatively investigated. It is shown, by considering the sensitivity of imaging plates to α-, β-, and γ-rays, that most images of environmental samples are the result of α- or β-rays emitted from radionuclides at the sample surface, but not from the whole sample. To exemplify autoradiography using the presented shielding box, some environmental samples contaminated with radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident are measured. The distribution of radionuclides is clearly visualized and, furthermore, information of the migration of radiocesium in the sample is obtained. View Full-Text
Keywords: imaging plate; low-background shielding box; sensitivity to α-, β-, and γ-rays; imaging of environmental samples imaging plate; low-background shielding box; sensitivity to α-, β-, and γ-rays; imaging of environmental samples
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Shizuma, K.; Oba, Y. Low-Background Shielding Box for Autoradiography of Environmental Samples and the α-, β-, and γ-ray Sensitivities of the Imaging Plates. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 5209.

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