The Bucket Monitor provides a quick assessment of the bulk gamma contamination of excavated material within the bucket of a mechanical digger. This instrument contains a large scintillation crystal which is mounted within a substantial frame. The sensor is pre-calibrated for the contamination isotope of interest and can be set to alarm for discrete activity bands.
The driver of the mechanical digger rests the bucket containing the excavated material on the frame and after a few seconds it provides him with a visual indication of the level of gamma contamination in the bucket. This indication is provided by a traffic light system – red, amber and green denoting the band within which the gamma contamination occurs. On the basis of this information the driver deposits the load in the appropriate place for subsequent disposal or processing. During operation no personnel are required to take meter readings which is a key safety feature. Once calibrated the ‘Bucket Monitor’ is very simple and rapid to use.
No specialist nucleonic knowledge is required by the operator. The driver simply observes and acts upon the traffic light indications. He does not even need to activate the counting process as the instrument automatically senses when the bucket is correctly positioned. This instrument has already found applications at five different sites.