"Investigating the operational Capabilities of Custom and Pedestrian Portal Monitoring Systems for Screening Livestock for Radioactive Contamination,"
M.S. Thesis, Health Physics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2013).
Livestock and companion animals are valuable economically and
emotionally in many states' economies and to their citizens. In a
radiological emergency situation, the loss of a large amount of
livestock could be devastating to a state or national economy. If
such an event occurred, there are currently no screening and
decontamination protocols for the handling of livestock. This
research investigated current policies and procedures for
monitoring and decontamination of livestock and companion animals,
as well as testing pedestrian portal monitors and a newly designed
livestock portal capable of isotopic identification. It was
discovered that only ten states addressed companion animals or
livestock anywhere in their emergency planning. None of the states
included detailed procedures for livestock.
To address livestock screening, three pedestrian portal
monitoring systems were tested in the field and lab trials - the
Johnson AM801, TSA TPM903A, and Ludlum 52-1-1. Factors such as
operability and ease of use were also considered. All three systems
would alarm when a 5 μCi 137Cs source was used and the
occupancy sensor was triggered. The Johnson AM801 system was
determined to be the most appropriate for use in livestock
screening due to sensitive alarm algorithms, greater position
discrimination with four detectors, and ease of transition for
agricultural purposes. This system also used energy windowing for
low-resolution spectral capabilities.
The last phase of this project included designing and
constructing a portal system that also included isotopic
identification capabilities. An array of six sodium iodide
detectors was mounted on a panel and field-tested beside a cattle
chute and in a walkway. The custom portal, the Bovine Screening
Portal (BSP), observed increased count rates from a 5 μCi
137Cs source in live time from the incoming count rate
and in subsequent post-processing.
Associated Project(s):Effective Contamination Detection for Livestock Following a Radiological Event