Development of an alpha/beta/gamma detector for radiation monitoring

Seiichi Yamamoto*, Jun Hatazawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


For radiation monitoring at the site of nuclear power plant accidents such as Fukushima Daiichi, radiation detectors not only for gamma photons but also for alpha and beta particles are needed because some nuclear fission products emit beta particles and gamma photons and some nuclear fuels contain plutonium that emits alpha particles. We developed a radiation detector that can simultaneously monitor alpha and beta particles and gamma photons for radiation monitoring. The detector consists of three-layered scintillators optically coupled to each other and coupled to a photomultiplier tube. The first layer, which is made of a thin plastic scintillator (decay time: 2.4 ns), detects alpha particles. The second layer, which is made of a thin Gd2SiO 5 (GSO) scintillator with 1.5 mol. Ce (decay time: 35 ns), detects beta particles. The third layer made of a thin GSO scintillator with 0.4 mol. Ce (decay time: 70 ns) detects gamma photons. By using pulse shape discrimination, the count rates of these layers can be separated. With individual irradiation of alpha and beta particles and gamma photons, the count rate of the first layer represented the alpha particles, the second layer represented the beta particles, and the third layer represented the gamma photons. Even with simultaneous irradiation of the alpha and beta particles and the gamma photons, these three types of radiation can be individually monitored using correction for the gamma detection efficiency of the second and third layers. Our developed alpha, beta, and gamma detector is simple and will be useful for radiation monitoring, especially at nuclear power plant accident sites or other applications where the simultaneous measurements of alpha and beta particles and gamma photons are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113503
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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