B-RAD: a hand-held radiation survey meter

B-RAD is a portable radiation survey meter, capable of operating in the presence of strong magnetic fields and simultaneously able to detect a range of radiation including α, β, γ (and neutrons) with high sensitivity. Originally developed at CERN for monitoring in radiation areas such as the LHC experiments, a number of other applications quickly became apparent and the project applied to the KT Fund to further develop its functionality and scale-up for manufacture. In 2015, B-RAD was successfully licensed to the Italian company ELSE Nuclear, who specialize in standard as well as highly customized products for a wide range of applications in sectors such as environmental radiation monitoring systems, radiation protection instrumentation, nuclear power plant decommissioning, and nuclear medicine. Through partnership with CERN, ELSE Nuclear will therefore ensure dissemination of the technology by bringing B-RAD to the market as a commercially available product. Also in 2015, B-RAD was tested in a 3T magnetic field at the MRI scanning facility at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), in Lausanne, Switzerland, which confirmed its operational capacity. Readout displays, both the LCD of the B-RAD device and a 2.7” e-paper display (for potential use in the commercial product), were also tested in the scanner and found to function without problem. Radiation measurements at medical PET/MRI scanners are a principal market application for B-RAD, so data collected from such a site is very useful in confirming functionality and highlighting areas for potential future development.

The commercial version of B-RAD will consist of a central unit and a series of probes for beta/gamma dose rate measurements that also includes a telescopic version for measurements at distance, measurements of surface contamination, gamma spectrometry and neutron dose rate measurements.

Technical contact: Marco Silari (HSE Unit)

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