Controlling goods and other materials with regard to increased radioactivity

In order to control goods and freight that could show contamination as a result of the nuclear reactor disaster in Japan the MPA NRW offers various kinds of examinations:

To test increased radioactivity a contamination monitor determines deviations from the natural background radiation (attributable to terrestrial and cosmic radiation) in overview measurements. This contamination test gives an indication whether a further gamma spectrometric rapid measurement in order to test the presence of the momentarily relevant nuclides iodine-131 and caesium-137 makes sense. Depending on the case of application wipe tests (e. g. on the exterior packaging) can be taken or samples could be necessary. After taking the wipe test it can normally be said if the contamination is mainly wipeable. On request overview measurements and wipe tests can also be carried out on site. These tests do not damage the materials to be tested. In order to detect further radionuclides a nuclide-specific gamma-radioactivity measurement is offered which can determine the radioactivity of all nuclides detected by gamma spectrometry. For this a sample volume of approximately 100 ml up to 1000 ml is needed. This nuclide-specific determination can also distinguish between long-life and short-life radionuclides and you receive the information if the existing radioactivity has subsided to a great extent after a certain decay period.

Non gamma-emitting nuclides can be determined by special nuclide analyses which require a radiochemical treatment of the samples. These are mainly the beta-emitting nuclides tritium and strontium that are harder to determine depending on the samples. These also include the uranium and plutonium isotopes that can be determined by alpha spectrometric measurement. 

Following radioactivity measurements can be conducted at the MPA NRW.

The testing costs (plus VAT) for sample deliveries amount to:


Contamination test95,00 Euro
Nuclide-specific gamma measurement (rapid test)    175,00 Euro
Gammaspectrometry307,00 Euro
Tritium measurement296,00 Euro
Strontium-89 or strontium-90 measurement on request
Alphaspectronomy (uranium and plutonium isotopes) on request

For on-site tests the test costs are calculated according to expenditure.

Orders and consultation under 02 31 – 45 02 511

as of 24.03.2011