Full energy peak efficiency calibration for the assay of large volume radioactive waste drums in a segmented gamma scanner

Sabyasachi Patra, Chhavi Agarwal, Sanhita Chaudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Large volume radioactive waste drums with low/intermediate level of alpha activity, generated in radiochemical laboratories, are in general screened for special nuclear materials (SNM) in a segmented gamma scanner (SGS) before disposal. The assay methodology traditionally requires a standard drum of identical geometry and thereby making the procedure relying on the availability of a true standard, which is often difficult to organize. Here, we report a non-conventional absolute segmented gamma scanning (ASGS) methodology for the assay of 200 L waste drums, avoiding the use of a standard drum. The present analysis employ the full energy peak (FEP) efficiency, ingeniously determined using a standard 152Eu point source. From combined experiment and Monte Carlo simulation, it has been established that, the FEP efficiencies of the detector for a 200 L cylindrical sample can be well reproduced using a point source. While verifying the applicability of the point source FEP efficiencies for the assay of plutonium in 200 L drums, an energy dependent bias has been seen, which confirms the presence of lump attenuation in addition to the general matrix attenuation. An infinite energy extrapolation of apparent mass approach has been adopted for the assay of large volume waste drums which takes care of the gamma-ray attenuation from all sources that is otherwise difficult to correct for in a sample drum of unknown history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Apparent mass method
  • Gamma-spectrometry
  • Non-destructive assay
  • Plutonium
  • Point source efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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