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Cs-137 sealed source lost in Western Australia
A rendering of the sealed source capsule’s appearance. (Image: DFES)
Authorities are searching 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) of Australia’s Great Northern Highway, between Perth and the remote town of Newman, for a lost sealed-source capsule containing cesium-137. The source was part of a density gauge used by mining company Rio Tinto at its mining operations in Western Australia.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) of Western Australia reported that the density gauge containing a 6-mm-diameter (0.24-inch-diameter) by 8-mm-height (0.31-inch-height) source capsule was sent by flatbed truck to Perth for repair, leaving Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri mine site in Western Australia on January 12 and arriving in Perth on January 16. The package containing the gauge, however, was not inspected until January 25.
Upon opening the package, it was found that the gauge was broken apart with one of four mounting bolts missing. The source itself and all screws on the gauge were also missing. It is assumed that vibrations from the truck broke the gauge apart and allowed the screws and capsule to fall through the bolt hole and away from the truck. DFES said they were notified of the loss on the evening of January 25.
Houhua Xiong, Taosheng Li, Size Chen, Bing Hong, Chao Liu, FDS Team
Nuclear Technology | Volume 202 | Number 1 | April 2018 | Pages 94-100
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2017.1419780
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In this paper, an online reactor neutron spectrum measurement method is presented. The basic theory of this method is based on the unfolding of few-channel data, in which three miniature ionization chambers are applied. The neutron spectrum can be unfolded with the count rates and response functions of the three detectors through an unfolding program. In order to investigate the feasibility of this method, simulation tests have been performed with the reference neutron spectra and neutron spectra from the China LEAd-based Reactor (CLEAR). The research results show that this method can provide an alternative means for an online neutron spectrum measurement in the reactors. This method is suitable to be applied in fast neutron reactors due to the miniature size of ionization chambers and fission threshold of 238U.