January 13, 2023
Journal Article

Projected Network Performance for Next Generation Aerosol Monitoring Systems


Aerosol monitoring for radioactivity is a mature and proven technology. However, by improving key specifications of aerosol monitoring equipment, more samples per day can be collected and analyzed with the same minimum detectable concentrations as current systems. This work models hypothetical releases of 140Ba and 131I over a range of magnitudes corresponding to the inventory produced from the fission of about 100 grams to 1 kiloton TNT-equivalent of 235U. The releases occur over an entire year to incorporate the natural variability in atmospheric transport. Sampling equipment located at the 79 stations in the International Monitoring System are used to determine the detections of the individual releases. Alternative collection schemes in next generation equipment that collect 2, 3, or 4 samples per day, rather than the current 1 sample per day, would result in detections in many more samples at more stations with detections for a given release level. The authors posit that next generation equipment will result in increased network resilience to outages and improved source-location capability for lower yield source releases. The application of dual-detector and coincidence measurements to these systems would significantly boost sensitivity for some isotopes and would further enhance the monitoring capability.

Published: January 13, 2023


Eslinger P.W., H.S. Miley, J.L. Burnett, L.S. Lidey, J.M. Mendez, B.T. Schrom, and M. Sharma. 2023. Projected Network Performance for Next Generation Aerosol Monitoring Systems. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 257. PNNL-SA-179400. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2022.107088