Intrinsic dosimetry of glass containers: A potential interrogation tool for nuclear forensics and waste management

Richard A. Clark, J. David Robertson, Eric D. Walter, Steve D. Miller, Jon M. Schwantes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Intrinsic dosimetry is the method of measuring total absorbed dose received by the walls of a container holding radioactive material. By considering the total absorbed dose received by a container in tandem with the physical characteristics of the radioactive material housed within that container, this method has the potential to provide enhanced pathway information regarding the history of the container and its radioactive contents. We report the latest in a series of experiments designed to validate and demonstrate this newly developed tool. Thermoluminescence (TL) dosimetry was used to measure dose effects on raw stock borosilicate container glass up to 70 days after gamma ray, X-ray, beta particle or ultraviolet irradiations at doses from 0.15 to 20 Gy. Two main peaks were identified in the TL glow curve when irradiated with 60Co, a relatively unstable peak around 120 °C and a more stable peak around 225 °C. Signal strength of both peaks decayed with time. The minimum measurable dose using this technique is 0.15 Gy, which is roughly equivalent to a 24 h irradiation at 1 cm from a 50 ng 60Co source. As a result of fading, this dose would be detectable for approximately 1 year post-irradiation. In a more detailed analysis, the TL glow curves were separated into five peaks centered near 120, 160, 225, 300, and 340 °C. Differences in TL glow curve shape and intensity were observed for the glasses from different geographical origins. These differences can be explained by changes in the intensities of the five peaks. This suggests that mechanisms controlling radiation induced defect formation from gamma, beta, X-ray, and UV sources may be similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-668
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pollution
  • Spectroscopy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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