Location Aware Radiation Monitoring System

Period of Performance: 05/01/2008 - 10/31/2008

$99.8K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Q-track Corporation
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project is directed towards providing engineering controls to provide a safer work environment in nuclear power plants. The engineering control combines a recent breakthrough in indoor wireless tracking known as Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER.) with dosimeters to permit real time radiation mapping. NFER technology can precisely locate a worker or robot within a nuclear power plant. The worker or robot will also be equipped with a dosimeter. Wherever a worker or robot traverses, real time radiations can be made at those locations. The collective data enables real time radiation maps. These maps can inform workers of comparable radiation levels for specifc locations thus allows workers to plan their activities to minimize radiation exposure. An additional advantage is that the plant's control center will know the precise location of every worker within the plant. This knowledge has both safety and security benefits. Specifically the project will couple a NFER. QT-400" tracking system with a Siemens Mk 2 electronic TeleDosmetry System". The coupled systems will be mounted on a remotely controlled REMOTEC. Andros robot to create an automated real-time radiation site mapping system. The test bed for the project will be the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). Commercial Applications and other Benefits: There are approximately 100 nuclear power plants in the United States and 440 worldwide. Most of the owners of nuclear power facilities would install real-time radiation site mapping if a viable system existed. By allowing workers at nuclear power plants to avoid hot spots, the foremost benefit of real-time radiation mapping would be worker safety. Moreover, the core work accomplished under this project can be extended to thousands of chemical plants such as petroleum refineries. The need to accurately track the locations of employees in petroleum refineries was made evident by the recent tragedy in Texas City involving the death of eleven workers. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This project explores whether a recent breakthrough in wireless tracking known as Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER) can enable real-time radiation site mapping. Real-time radiation maps would better identify hot spots in nuclear power plants that workers should avoid. Project Narrative This project explores whether a recent breakthrough in wireless tracking known as Near- Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER) can enable real-time radiation site mapping. Real-time radiation maps would better identify hot spots in nuclear power plants that workers should avoid. The goals of this project include reduction of radiation exposure for nuclear workers and improved efficiency and productivity for nuclear utilities.