AEC focuses on the health physics support for the industrial sector. One of the primary uses of fixed gauges is the non-tactile (touching) of the product while perform a density measurement. This technique assists the company in keeping the flow of materials moving through the plant. These gauges can be used in several methods, such as the mounting on pipes to monitor the flow of slurries carrying product, placing on conveyor belts to monitor the movement of solids, or placing on tanks or vessels to monitor the fill-level of liquids, slurries or solids. The use of fixed gauges assists the plant operator in having many monitoring points in the plant that are electronically tied into the control system to quickly identify problems so they can be remedied before a major issue occurs. In addition, the gauges can be used to quantify the density or amount of product that is being moved through the plant. These gauges have discrete sealed sources that emit gamma radiation that is shielded in its source holder. As the shutter is opened, the radiation levels increase allowing the radiation to penetrate the target and reach a detector which quantifies the amount of radiation attenuated, thus automatically calculating the amount of product being measured. These sealed sources create a small risk of exposure and ultimate dose. Keeping these doses as low as reasonable is our goal.
The services provided by AEC include the training of the operators. This includes the 40-hour training course to certify Advanced Authorized Users that have the complete understanding of the radiological requirements of the plant. They are also qualified to be the site Radiation Safety Officers (RSOs). For those companies wanting a general RSO capability, a 24-hour RSO course is offered. Limited authorized user training in the form of an 8-hour training course is provided. In addition, AEC performs the USDOT HAZMAT training for the users at the facility to be able to ship the industrial gauges on the highway. And finally, customized refresher training is provided for the plant personnel as recommended by the RSO.
On-site services include conducting a radiological review of the radiation protection program to assure that the activities of the RSO and plant are maintaining exposures as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) is performed by AEC annually of all its clients.
Also, AEC field health physics technicians inventory the industrial gauges, perform leak testing services, clean and care for the gauge and verify the required posting as being accurate.
AEC’s clients that possess fixed gauges are members of the following groups:
MINING GAUGE USERS: Phosphate, Rare-earth, Kaolin and Silicon industries
NON-MINING GAUGE USERS: Energy production, Cement and Pulp & Paper industries
Some of these industries are discussed in more detail on our MINING page.