Assessment of a Compton-event suppression y-spectrometer for the detection of fission products at trace levels

Paolo Peerani, Paul Carbol, Erich Hrnecek, Maria Betti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The improvement in detection limits for low and high activity samples measured with the Compton-suppression y-spectrometer installed at the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) for environmental monitoring of radioactivity, as well as nuclear safeguards, is discussed. The advantage of using two parallel acquisition lines for simultaneous measurement with and without Compton-event suppression is outlined with respect to cascade and noncascade y-emitters. The background reduction by Compton-event suppression made it possible to detect small peaks, which otherwise would not have been found in a conventional spectrum. In Compton-event suppression mode, the detection limit for 137Cs was improved by a factor of about 3, for 241Am we found a factor of 1.2 both in high and low active samples. The measurements of environmental reference samples showed good agreement with certified values in both acquisition modes. The application of this instrument for the determination of fission products in smear samples is described. In particular, for nuclides like 54Mn 125Sb and 144Ce, an improvement in the detection limits by a factor of 1.6-2.4 was obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section A - Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Research Field

  • Biosensor Technologies


  • Seibersdorf
  • health
  • physics
  • nuclear
  • detection
  • y-spectrometry
  • Compton-event
  • suppression
  • environment
  • reference
  • samples


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