Just a reminder to be sure you are having your semi-annual radiation leak tests done. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S.N.R.C.) requires that all sealed source integrity tests be completed at the prescribed times and by licensed companies. If these rules are not followed, it will lead to very costly fines that none of us can afford in these tough economic times.
Agreement States can set their own rules, but they must be equal to, or more stringent than, the U.S.N.R.C.’s requirements. So if you have a sealed source and you have fallen behind on leak testing, it will save you money in the long run to get the leak testing requirements fulfilled as soon as possible instead of paying a hefty fine to the government.
If you have any questions about leak testing, or feel you may not be in compliance, please give us a call with any of your questions and we will be glad to assist you.
Source Storage Time Limits
In keeping with the theme of U.S.N.R.C. rules and regulations, it is very important that everyone is aware of the new time limits that have recently been implemented.
In the past, once an isotope source was properly packaged in a D.O.T. approved shipping container, it could be stored indefinitely. While the sources can still be stored for as long as needed, there is a new requirement in place that the sources must have a visual inspection/radiation leak test done at a minimum of once every two years.
If you have an old source in storage, and you suspect it may be past due, please give us a call and we can assist you in getting your company up to code.
Profiting From Your Gauge
There are many ways to profit from your AGT400 Thickness Gauge & S.P.C. Reporting Package, and very few are as easy to quantify as this edition’s tip.
Companies that buy coils by weight and sell their product by the foot can really benefit from the AGT400. While benefiting mostly tube mills, some CTL’s and slitters are now selling by the foot, so the number of people who can benefit from this is quite large.
If, for example, you are buying a coil, and you allow for a tolerance range of .048″ to .052″. You may be ordering .050″ from your supplier to achieve your desired thickness. By monitoring your incoming material with your thickness gauge, you will be able to adjust your ordering specifications in the future in order to confidently buy at a slightly lower thickness but still maintaining your minimum specification, thereby saving thousands of dollars on the purchase of your material. As you can see, since you sell by the foot, this is all profit!
Weston/Loral Detector Upgrade
As most people are aware, we have been upgrading the Weston and Loral thickness gauges for a couple of years now. What most of you may not know is that with the Loral/Weston upgrades, there is a little more happening in addition to the usual upgrade of other brands.
The Weston/Loral thickness gauge detectors use a scintillation crystal and photomultiplier tube (PMT) to detect the radiation coming from your source. In the simplest terms, the radiation hits the crystal which generates visible light, and these photons are converted into voltage via the PMT. This voltage is what allows the thickness gauge to determine the thickness of your steel. The downside to this is that these crystals slowly ‘die’ and lose their ability to transmit light to the PMT over time. This results in a more unstable reading ‘between calibrations’ as the crystal diminishes. Then, once the crystal has no more life left, it must be replaced. This is a routine that will need to be repeated at a high cost many times through the years.
At A.G.T., we also use voltage to determine the thickness of your steel, but we obtain that voltage using a different technology. We utilize an ionization chamber, which is simply a canister of xenon gas pressurized to three atmospheres. The radiation hits the gas, excites the electrons, which then leave the canister as a current. These ion chambers, if properly taken care of, do not wear out, and will last the entire lifetime of the gauge.
When upgrading your Weston or Loral thickness gauge to an AGT400, this is a standard replacement!
Weston/Loral crystal and PMT
AGT400 ION Chamber Replacement