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C.M. Marianno, J.L. Erchinger, and A.D. Herring, "Using a Specialized Radiation Portal System to Monitor Livestock Following a Radiological Incident," 23rd Annual National Radiological Emergency Preparedness Conference, Austin, Texas, 8-11 April 2013.


Large scale contamination following a radiological incident will have a great effect on the economy. For instance if some deposition occurred near a single beef feed lot tens of millions of dollars' worth of cattle would be considered contaminated until proven otherwise. Through the National Response Framework (NRF) the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has the responsibility of supporting, screening and decontaminating poultry, wildlife, livestock, and companion animals in a radiological emergency. Since the USDA does not currently possess these capabilities, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture is supporting research on the development of a radiation portal monitoring (RPM) system for livestock. This work occurred in 2 phases. First, 3 commercial RPMS, designed for pedestrian and vehicle use, were tested using cattle. The second phase, involving a custom detector array, employed up to 6 - 2"x4"x16" sodium iodide detectors. In both cases Cs-137 sources were placed in various locations on a steer's body and the animal was allowed to walk through the portal. Large passageways as well as press chutes, typically found in feed lots were utilized for these studies. This study found that the commercial RPMs would require hardware and software modifications to be used for such a mission. The custom system, used in its various configurations, was -137 in one second, record spectral information for isotope identification and localize contamination on the animal. This talk will discuss this work in addition to comparing the commercial and custom systems.

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Associated Project(s):

  • Effective Contamination Detection for Livestock Following a Radiological Event

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