Optimising sensor geometry of a photodiode geometry based beta detector for the direct detection of strontium 90 in groundwater

Turkington, G., Gamage, K. A.A. and Graham, J. (2020) Optimising sensor geometry of a photodiode geometry based beta detector for the direct detection of strontium 90 in groundwater. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1643, 012210. (doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1643/1/012210)

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Strontium-90, as one of the primary beta emitting radionuclides produced during nuclear fission, strontium-90 contaminates groundwater at nuclear decommissioning sites after leaks and spills. Its presence in the groundwater presents a long-term site risk, and its activity must be routinely monitored. Existing techniques see groundwater samples collected from deep underground boreholes and sent to remote labs for analysis [1]. These procedures are expensive, time consuming and produce chemical waste, whereby eliminating the need for sample collection and treatment, the net lifetime monitoring costs of strontium 90 can be reduced [2]. In this paper authors present an optimisation of a beta detector, based on submersible photodetector, which can be used in real-time, in-situ beta detection. In order to directly detect and characterise strontium 90 in groundwater, it is essential to maximise the number of beta particles incident on the photodiode surface and ensure that they are fully absorbed within the sensitive region of the detector. This work has developed a Geant4 software framework for investigating the energy deposition by beta particles on photodiode detectors. A series of simulations have been performed to investigate radiation absorption in silicon, cadmium telluride and gallium arsenide detectors. Variations in sensitive area and detector thickness were modeled to determine their suitability for strontium-90 detection in groundwater. The optimal detector geometry of gallium arsenide photodiodes was further investigated. The simulation results and analysis suggest that the optimal detector will feature a large surface area, at least 1 cm2, and an intrinsic layer approximately 400 m thick.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors would like to acknowledge the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the University of Glasgow for funding support.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gamage, Professor Kelum and Turkington, Mr Graeme
Authors: Turkington, G., Gamage, K. A.A., and Graham, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN (Online):1742-6596
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1643:012210
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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