AIHce Indianapolis



PDC 108
Practical Applications of Portable Radiation Instruments

introductory | 1.34 CM Points/ 8 Contact Hours/ 1.0 CEU/COC Point | Saturday | 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. | Limit: 35

Ionizing Radiation, Real-Time Detection Systems

Instructors will briefly review fundamental properties of radiation, (alpha, beta, gamma, and x-rays); review operating principles and demonstrate the use of gas filled detectors (ion chambers, proportional, and Geiger-Mueller); demonstrate and review scintillation detectors (NaI, plastic, and ZnS) and solid state detectors (Ge and CdTe); demonstrate instrument calibration, troubleshooting, and how to use instruments for surveys of laboratories, nuclear gauges, industrial x-rays, and emergency response. Attendees will have an opportunity for hands-on practice with a variety of instruments on live exempt quantity radioactive sources. Instructors will review how to interpret radiation measurements, how to assure quality control, and how to defend measurements, as well as how to choose the right instrument and to decide on appropriate actions to take based on radiation measurements for routine use or emergency response.

This class will use exempt quantity live radioactive sources to demonstrate properties of radiation and radiation instrument responses. A large variety of portable radiation detectors will be demonstrated and provided for hands-on exercise.

Value Added:
Receive references (chapters) on radiation instrument training and training of first responders for radiation emergencies.

A basic understanding of ionionizing radiation will be helpful

Learning Aids:
Participants must bring a laptop.

Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe how radiation detectors work.
  • Select the right detector for particular needs and determine if the instrument is working properly.
  • Establish the proper use of each type of radiation instrument.
  • Demonstrate the use of each type of detector.
  • Explain how instruments can be misleading.
  • Recognize the strengths and limitations of each type of radiation instrument.
  • Interpret radiation measurements for routine or emergency response.
  • Defend radiation measurements.


  • Review fundamentals properties of radiation to understand how radiation detectors work
  • Review and demonstration of operating principles of gas filled detectors
  • Review and demonstration of scintillation detectors
  • Review and demonstration of solid state detectors
  • Demonstrate radiation instrument calibration and troubleshooting
  • Demonstrate how to use instruments for surveys and emergency response for sealed and unsealed sources, nuclear gauges, and industrial x-ray machines.
  • Hands-on practice with a variety of instruments on several types of exempt quantity radioactive sources
  • How to interpret and defend radiation measurements
  • How to assure measurement quality control
  • How to make appropriate decisions based on instruments for routine use and emergency response.

Transfer of Knowledge:
Instructors will evaluate participants understanding of the materials presented based on:

  • Hands-on demonstrations and practicum
  • Practice exercises
  • Workshops
  • Group activities

Sponsoring Committees:
Ionizing Radiation and Emergency Planning and Response

Important PDC dates:

  • May 18 — E-handout download instructions are e-mailed.
  • June 1  — Contact the AIHA if you have not received your e-handout e-mail.
  • June 1  — AIHce 2012 online communities for collaborative learning open.
  • June 15-17 — AIHce 2012 PDCs are presented. Participants must bring a printed or electronic copy of their PDC handout.
  • August 31 — AIHce 2012 online communities for collaborative learning close.
  • August 27 Educational transcripts updated and available for download