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Report No.
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Development of a new detector system to evaluate position and activity of plutonium particles in nasal cavities

Morishita, Yuki; Yamamoto, Seiichi*; Momose, Takumaro; Kaneko, Junichi*; Nemoto, Norio

Plutonium dioxide (PuO$$_{2}$$) is used to fabricate a mixed oxide fuel for fast breeder reactors. When a glove box containing PuO$$_{2}$$ fails, such as by rupture of a glove or a vinyl bag, airborne contamination of plutonium (Pu) can occur. If the worker inhale PuO$$_{2}$$ particles, they deposit in the lung and cause lung cancer. The nasal smear and nose blow methods are useful for checking workers for PuO$$_{2}$$ intake in the field. However, neither method can evaluate the quantitative activity of Pu. No alpha-particle detector that can be used for direct measurements in the nasal cavity has been developed. Therefore, we developed a nasal monitor capable of directly measuring the activity of Pu in the nasal cavity to precisely evaluate the internal exposure dose of a worker. Prismatic-shaped 2$$times$$2 acrylic light guides were used to compose a detector block, and a ZnS(Ag) scintillator was adhered to the surface of these light guides. Silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) arrays with 8$$times$$8 channels were used as a photodetector. Actual PuO$$_{2}$$ particles were measured using the nasal monitor. The nasal monitor could be directly inserted in the nasal cavities. The activity distribution of Pu was obtained by the nasal monitor. The average efficiencies in 4$$pi$$ were 11.43% and 11.58% for the left and right nasal cavities, respectively. The effect of $$gamma$$ and $$beta$$ rays on the detection of the alpha particles of Pu was negligible. The difference in the measured Pu activity between the ZnS(Ag) scintillation counter and the nasal monitor was within 4.0%. The developed nasal monitor can solve the uncertainty problem encountered with the nasal smear and the nose blow methods. We expect this monitor to be useful for accurately estimating the internal exposure dose of workers.

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Category:Environmental Sciences

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