HPGe Detector users in Indian Universities & Research Institutes

Gamma Spectroscopy ( HPGe Detector ) in Educational & Research Institutes in India.

Radioactive source produce gamma rays which can be detected and quantified by spectroscopy system.

This system can be either laboratory based or hand held mobile systems.

 

The system consists of radiation detector coupled with MCA and Spectroscopy software.

The radiation detector can be either Scintillation Detectors like NaI(Tl) or High Purity Germanium( HPGe) Detectors.

We will undertake status of HPGe detector based Gamma Spectroscopy System (GSS) in India.

Manufacturers Of HPGe Detector Based GSS:

There are only four manufacturers of these systems worldwide. These are:

    • Canberra Instruments (Now Acquired by Mirion Technologies)

http://www.canberra.com

    • Ortec Instruments ( Ametek Inc, USA)

http://www.ortec-online.com

    • Baltic Scientific Instruments, Latvia

http://bsi.lv/en/

    • Itech Instruments, France (Acquired PGT Inc, USA)

http://www.itech-instruments.com/

ISSUES IN OPERATION & MAINTENANCE OF HPGe BASED GSS:

  • In India most GSS system are cooled by Liquid Nitrogen. In 30 liter Dewar refill of LN2 is required every 15 days. In ideal situation automatic LN2 pumps should do this function but this is done manually in India. During refilling condensation of LN2 on outer surface is causing degradation of detector performance.
  • In few institutes availability of LN2 is an issue.
  • Trained Technical Manpower to operate or troubleshoot in educational institute is an issue.
  • After Sales Service capability with local distributors is absent so emphasis is to sell.
  • Basic maintenance service is provided but high cost, longer wait time and unavailability of loner unit is an issue.
  • Few institutes are “center of excellence” but knowledge transfer and sharing within community is limited.
  • Mechanical Parts and electronic spares can be developed in India to increase reliable and uptime of these systems.
  • Training on gamma spectroscopy software is not purchased by end users. This results in sub-optimal utilization of complete system.
  • Most often funding to institutes are given by DAE but after project is Completed there is poor utilization of these instruments. We can either do pooling or share the resources once the project is completed

COMPONENTS OF HPGe BASED GSS:

  • P-Type or N-Type HPGe detector.
  • Cryostat
  • Dewar
  • Lead Shield
  • Multi Channel Analyzer
  • Gamma Spectroscopy Software
  • Personal Computer

PRICE OF HPGE BASED GSS:

Normally the starting cost of these system will be 25,000 US$ but can go upto 150,000 US$ depending on relative efficiency of detector selected, type of lead shield, MCA and software selected.

HOW CAN COST BE OPTIMIZED?

  • Find local supplier for lead shield. This item is quite heavy and local fabrication can save freight cost.
  • Select carefully your objective of research. This will help to choose correct detector. If we choose optimum detector we can save significant amount of money. Let me give an example. If your interest of isotope have energy above 40KeV and less than 3 MeV you can choose simple Co-axial P-Type detector but if we choose a detector which can detect isotopes having energy 3KeV onwards then special low energy detectors and cryostat with ULB lead shield will be required. To achieve this objective special materials and detectors will be custom made which can increase cost by minimum 40% to 50%. Thus if we have correct objective we can order correct detector and save on cost without compromising on our research.
  • Hire independent consultants which can evaluate, negotiate and guide you in purchase process.
  • Enter into extended warranty and ensure this is honored.
  • Source and procure a pump and bake kit so that basic troubleshooting can be done at site.
  • Source and procure electronic spare parts like FET and Pre-Amplifier from local market.
  • Outsource ,if possible, the system to outside agencies which can run their samples or get training there by earning extra revenue to institute.
  • Insist on automatic Liquid Ln2 monitor and pump so that better care can be taken.
  • If you are using accelerator or other facility which needs continuous uptime I would advise to look for electronic cooling “ cryocoolers”. These are costly items but can be very useful for the final outcome of experiments.

LIST OF INSTITUTES:

I have tried to compile institutes where these instruments are present. I would request to provide feedback and support to maintain this list. If your institute is not mentioned here but have GSS please send your details and I would like to update this.

The idea is to make this list live so that entire community can share knowledge and expertise so that we can learn.

Institute Name
Website

 

NISER , Bhubaneswar

 

http://www.niser.ac.in/
Institute Of Physics , Bhubaneswar

 

http://www.iopb.res.in/
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

 

http://www.tifr.res.in/
CIFE, Mumbai http://www.cife.edu.in/
NCSCM, Chennai http://www.ncscm.res.in/
Mangalore University https://mangaloreuniversity.ac.in/carer/
University of Mysore http://www.uni-mysore.ac.in/physics/
University of Calicut,Physics Department http://www.universityofcalicut.info/
Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics,Kolkatta http://www.saha.ac.in/web/
UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research http://www.csr.res.in/csr_kolkatta.html
M L Sukhadia University, Physics department www.misu.ac.in
PDPU,Ahmedabad http://sot.pdpu.ac.in/nucleareng.html
SSSIHL,Bangalore http://sssihl.edu.in/sssuniversity/Academics/DepartmentofPhysics/Facilities.aspx
NGRI,Hyderabad http://www.ngri.org.in/

 

MSU, Vadodara, Physics Department http://www.msubaroda.ac.in/
National Institute of Oceanography, http://www.nio.org

 

Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar

 

http://www.iitrpr.ac.in/department-physics
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

 

https://www.iitr.ac.in/departments/PH/pages/index.html
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

 

http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/department/PH
Delhi University, Physics Department

 

http://www.du.ac.in/du/index.php?page=physics-astrophysics
IUAC , New Delhi

 

http://www.iuac.res.in/
Punjab University, Physics Department

 

http://physics.puchd.ac.in/
Banaras Hindu University, Physics Department

 

http://www.bhu.ac.in/science/physics/
Allahabad University, Physics Department

 

http://allduniv.ac.in/old/index.php
Jadhavpur University, Physics Department

 

http://www.jaduniv.edu.in/view_department.php?deptid=80
CWRDM

Isotope Hydrology Division

www.cwrdm.org
Mumbai University, UM-DAE Center

 

http://www.cbs.ac.in/

 

DO YOU DRINK WATER FROM UNDERGROUND SOURCE? TESTED IT FOR RADIATION? READ THE ARTICLE!!

Safe drinking water is utmost important for our health and wellness. In cities where municipal supply is reliable people are using water purifier to get pure water. In major part of rural India (approximate 85% household *) underground water from bore well, springs or wells is used for drinking purpose.

Drinking water quality should be maintained as per IS 10500:102. Following parameters should be tested and monitored in drinking water:

  • Toxic Substances
  • Radioactive Substances
  • Pesticide Residue
  • Bacteriological Quality
  • Organoleptic & Physical Parameters

My discussion will be concentrated on testing and monitoring of drinking water for radioactive substances.

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (www.aerb.gov.in) is the agency to deal with radiation test in water in India. They have issued guidelines in Feb.2003 for “measurement of radionuclide content in food stuff and drinking water” through which now private labs can obtain accreditation for testing labs.

This guidelines says “For drinking water samples IS 14194 (Part I&II) 1994 shall be followed”.

The Limits under this is as follows:

  • Alpha Emitters : Bq/L:  Maximum -0.1
  • Beta Emitters : Bq/L:  Maximum -1.0

In 2013 National Rural Drinking Water Programme ( NRDWP) was launched           ( www.indiawater.gov.in) which proposed to establish labs at state , district and sub-district level for monitoring and checking of drinking water.

As per NRDWP report there are 50 to 60 lakh sources of drinking water in India and they must be tested twice every year. There are total 1869 labs in India which can test, at full capacity, 56 lakh tests per year. Thus only 50% of the drinking water source can be tested for basic parameters.These labs do not have facility to test radiation in drinking water.

As of now there are 8 Environmental Survey Labs at Nuclear Power Plants and 9 Labs in private sector. We need higher investment and more labs if we need to cover all water sources.

It is ironic that packaged drinking water is tested for radiation in India but water sources are not actively monitored.

WHICH  RADIONUCLIDES ARE PRESENT IN DRINKING WATER?

Underground water can be contaminated with unwanted radionuclide’s. The main contaminants are Ra-226 and Ra-228. Radon is produced by decay of uranium present in rocks or soil underground.Few Other Isotopes are as follows:

     WHO GUIDANCE LEVELS FOR RADIONUCLIDES IN DRINKING WATER
Radionuclide Guidance level (Bq/L)
3H 10 000
14C** 100
90Sr,131I**, 134Cs, 137Cs, 238U 10
226Ra,228Th, 230Th, 232Th,234U, 239Pu, 241Am 1
210Pb, 210Po, 228Ra 0.1

** 3H and 131I will not be detected by standard gross alpha or gross beta activity measurements. Separate analyses are necessary only if there is reason to believe that these radionuclides may be present.

WHAT IS THE DANGER OF DRINKING RADON OR URANIUM CONTAMINATED WATER:

  • Radon is known carcinogen and is expected to be the second most important factor to cause lung cancer in non smokers.
  • High Uranium concentration can damage kidneys. Uranium is controlled because it is chemically toxic.

HOW TO COLLECT SAMPLES FOR TESTING:

  • You should collect water sample closet to your storage tank.
  • It is important to get the samples tested within 48 hours of collection for accurate results. Radon is released from water and decrease rapidly in first 4 days.
  • After 7-14 days there is negligible concentration of radon in water.

WHAT IS THE COST OF RADIATION TESTING OF WATER IN INDIA?

Normally labs will charge under 8,000 to 10,000 INR + Taxes in private labs for Basic Tests.

HOW TO REDUCE RADIOACTIVITY IN DRINKING WATER:

  1. Try to use municipal drinking water.
  2. Install water softener or ion exchange system
  3. Install ion exchange water treatment system closer to the point of use.
  4. Contact experts which will provide complete solution.

STATUS IN VARIOUS STATES OF INDIA:

  • In Punjab Malwa Region high uranium is found in water samples.
  • In Dehradoon high level of radon in water is found.
  • In Bangalore high level of radon in water is found.
  • North Eastern states tends to have high incidence of lung cancer in males. This may be due to high level of radon.

TESTING LABS FOR RADIONUCLIDES IN DRINKING WATER:

  1. Monarch Biotech Pvt Ltd , Chennai (http://monarchtestinglab.com/)
  2. Mangalore University, CARER,Mangalore (https://mangaloreuniversity.ac.in/carer/)
  3. Modern test House, Behrampur,Orrisa (http://www.moderntestcenter.com/)
  4. BRIT Radio analytical Lab , Navi Mumbai (http://www.britatom.gov.in/htmldocs/fal_barc.html)
  5. Saturn Labs , Bahadurgarh,Haryana
  6. Shriram Institute For Industrial Research, New Delhi (http://www.shriraminstitute.org/radiation.html)
  7. Environmental Survey labs at Various Nuclear Power Plants
  8. MSME Testing Centre, Chennai (http://msmetc.com/products-services/)
  9. Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU)