Nucleonic gauges - Sources & Safety Protocol

Nucleonic gauges - Sources & Safety Protocol

Nucleonic Gauges

What are Nucleonic gauges?

Nucleonic Gauges are also known as Ionizing Radiation Gauging Device (IRGDs) which are extensively used in many industries. A nucleonic gauge is used for reliable non-destructive measurement and ideal for adverse industrial environments, including high-temperature and high-pressure conditions.

What are the uses of nucleonic gauges?

They are mainly used for

·         determination of thickness of steel plate, paper, film.

·         Petroleum and mining companies, to locate the oil, natural gas reservoirs, coal reservoirs, its quantity and mineral deposits in various aspects.

·         measurement of density i.e., cigarette industries to measure density of tobacco and construction companies to measure road material density.

·         composition of materials

·         level measurement i.e., mound level measurement as well as measurement of liquid in reaction vessel.

·         moisture content in blast furnace

·         Elemental Analysis of ores and minerals etc.

Sources and types of nucleonic gauges?

Nucleonic Gauge have radioactive sources such as radiation shields, beam controls and various other components form an integral part of the device.


  • ·         Fixed gauges are mostly gamma emitters commonly as Co-60 and Cs-137.
  • ·         Portable gauges are gamma/photon/neutron emitters commonly as Cs-137 and Americium 241/Beryllium (Am- 241/ Be), Ra-Be etc.

Loophole in safety protocol?

·         When the gauges are not periodically accounted.

·         when there are no provisions for their safe storage.

·         Time lapse of radioactive source or equipment between installation of the fixed gauge and the end of useful life.

·         lack of proper procedures for handling.

·         layers of dirt & oil which may cover any radiation warning and safety guidelines.

Safety Measures?

  • ·         Obtain periodic training on radiation safety
  • ·         Carry out periodic audit of all gauges
  • ·         Watch out for devices with radiation safety symbols
  • ·         Ensure proper storage and locking mechanism of portable gauges for radiation safety purpose.
  • ·         It’s illegal to dispose of nucleonic gauges and send to scrap.
  • ·         Periodic training is necessary for radiation safety.