The Radon Calibration Laboratory at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS)

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1 The Radon Calibration Laboratory at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) T.R. Beck, H. Buchröder, J. Döring, E. Foerster, V. Schmidt Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (Federal Office for Radiation Protection) Lecturer: Elisabeth Foerster International Intercomparison Exercise on Natural Radiation Measurements under Field Conditions LaRUC, May 2011

2 Functions and objectives Coordinating office for the surveillance of elevated natural radioactivity Determination of radiation exposures resulting from radon and radon progenies Recognized metrological reference laboratory for radon-222 and short-lived radon progenies (secondary standard) Quality assurance for the measurement of radon and radon progenies in Germany

3 Program for Quality Assurance Scientific investigations on metrological fundamentals Evaluation and development of measurement methods Type testing Calibration service for measurement devices Interlaboratory comparisons for passive radon monitors

4 Laboratory for Radon-222 activity concentration Walk-in radon chamber (Volume: 11 m³) Barrels (Volume: 0.4 m³)

5 Laboratory for the Potential Alpha-Energy Concentration of the Short-Lived Radon-222 progenies (PAEC) Walk-in PAEC chamber (volume: 30 m³)

6 Radon Calibration Laboratory at BfS Accreditation: by the German accreditation body according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 Measurands: - Activity concentration of radon-222 in air (C Rn ) - Potential alpha energy concentration of radon-222 short-lived decay products (C P or PAEC) Traceability: to the National Standards at the German National Metrology Institute Physikalisch- Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

7 Technique and equipment 2 chambers set of 400 l containers Ra-226 Radon chamber Control panel C Rn, T, r.h. Ra m³ 3 MBq/m³ Ra-226 PAEC chamber 30 m³

8 Radon chamber / PAEC chamber cooling system Sensors or devices controlling parameters within the chamber temperature humidity radon measuring device Radon electrical floor heating system humidifier

9 PAEC chamber (volume: 30 m³) cooling system aerosol generators solid / liquid Sensors or devices controlling parameters within the chamber temperature humidity radon progeny measuring device pressure Radon Rn-progeny aerosols air velocity electrical floor heating system humidifier

10 Measurement parameters and their range of adjustment (Radon chamber) Measurement parameter Range of adjustment Radon-222 activity concentration C Rn Bq/m³ Air temperature C Relative humidity %

11 Measurement parameters and their range of adjustment (PAEC chamber) Measurement parameter Range of adjustment Radon-222 activity concentration C Rn Bq/m³ Air temperature C Relative humidity % Air pressure Potential alpha-energy concentration of the short-lived radon-222 progenies (PAEC) Particle concentration of the aerosol Atmospheric pressure (not adjustable) µj/m³ particles/cm³ Equilibrium factor Unattached fraction of PAEC < 1 90 % Air flow velocity (turbulence) 0 1 m/s

12 Traceability C Rn Physikalisch- Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) Calibration chamber Radon Calibration Laboratory at BfS Calibration chamber National radon- 222 standard Radon-222 reference standard ( transfer standard ) SK DSK SK : Scintillation chamber DSK: Flow-thru scintillation chamber Equipment under test

13 Radon-222 activity concentration: Budget of the measurement uncertainty Range of measurand Best measurement uncertainty of the reference measurement *) 50 Bq/m 3 to 1000 Bq/m 3 12 % Activity concentration of radon-222 in air 1000 Bq/m 3 to Bq/m 3 7 % Bq/m 3 to Bq/m 3 6 % *) The extended relative measurement uncertainty results from the standard uncertainty of measurement multiplied with a coverage factor k=2. It was determined in accordance with DAkkS-DKD-3 Angabe der Messunsicherheit bei Kalibrierungen, 2010, Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH, Braunschweig (German translation of publication EAL-R2 Expression of the Uncertainty of Measurement in Calibration ).

14 Interlaboratory Comparison Test items: Passive radon measuring devices using solid state nuclear track detectors, electrets or activated charcoal Frequency of performance: Annually since 2003 Announcement: Participation: National and international institutions (in order to fulfil the requirement of validation)

15 Number of devices and groups Type of detector Devices to be submitted Number of exposure groups Transit group Exposure duration SSNTD 35 4 Yes 1 3 weeks Electret 24 3 Yes 1 3 weeks Activated charcoal 8 1 No 48 hours / 72 hours

16 Exposure data 2010 (SSNTDs, electrets) No. t [h] C Rn,Ref [Bq m -3 ] P Rn,Ref [kbq h m -3 ] U (C Rn,Ref ) [%] r.h. [%] T [ C] U[%] extended relative uncertainty of C Rn,Ref with coverage factor k=2 (95% confidence level)

17 Time variation of radon activity concentrations (SSNTDs, electrets) Radon-Aktivitätskonzentration [Bq/m³] Radon activity concentration Referenzatmosphäre 4 Reference atmosphere 4 Referenzatmosphäre 3 Reference atmosphere 3 Referenzatmosphäre 2 Reference atmosphere 2 Referenzatmosphäre 1 Reference atmosphere Expositionszeit [h] Time of exposure

18 Number of participants in 2010: 27 SSNTDs (24 sets) Electrets (4 sets) Charcoal detectors (6 sets)

19 Referenzexposition Reference Exposure 3023 kbq h/m³ Messgeräteanzeige/Referenzwert Exposure to Radon measured/ Reference Exposure 2,0 G2 G5 G6 L1 N1 N3-1 N3-2 O1 P1 R2 S1 T1 U1 V1 V2 W1 X1 A2-1 A2-2 A6 B1 B2 B4 B5 C1 D1 G1 1,8 1,6 1,4 1,2 1,0 Interlaboratory Comparison 2010 Relative Error (SSNTDs, electrets) A2-1 A2-2 A6 B1 B2 B4 B5 C1 D1 G1 G2 G5 G6 L1 N1 N3-1 N3-2 O1 P1 R2 S1 T1 U1 V1 V2 W1 X1 A2-1 A2-2 A6 B1 B2 B4 B5 C1 D1 G1 G2 G5 G6 L1 N1 N3-1 N3-2 O1 P1 R2 S1 T1 U1 V1 V2 W1 X1 A2-1 A2-2 A6 B1 B2 B4 B5 C1 D1 G1 G2 G5 G6 L1 N1 N3-1 N3-2 O1 P1 R2 S1 T1 U1 V1 V2 W1 X1 2,0 1,8 1,6 1,4 1,2 1,0 0,8 0,6 0,4 0,2 0,0 Referenzexposition Reference Exposure 234 kbq h/m³ Referenzexposition Reference Exposure 1224 kbq h/m³ Prüfcode Test code 0,8 0,6 0,4 0,2 0,0 Prüfcode Test code Referenzexposition Reference Exposure 1330 kbq h/m³ Prüfcode Test code Prüfcode Test code Messgeräteanzeige/Referenzwert Exposure to Radon measured/ Reference Exposure

20 Interlaboratory Comparison of Passive radon detectors at BfS urn: nbn:de: vergleichspruefungen.html

21 The Radon Calibration Laboratory at BfS

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