Standard Withdrawn, No replacement   Last Updated: Jan 20, 2014
ASTM C1112-99(2005)

Standard Guide for Application of Radiation Monitors to the Control and Physical Security of Special Nuclear Material (Withdrawn 2014)

Significance and Use

SNM monitors are an efficient and sensitive means of unobtrusively (without a body search) meeting the requirements of 10 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 73 or DOE Order 5632.4 (May 1986) that individuals exiting nuclear material access areas (MAAs) be searched for concealed SNM. The monitors sense radiation emitted by SNM, which is an excellent but otherwise imperceptible clue to the presence of the material. Because the monitors operate in a natural radiation environment and must detect small intensity increases as clues, the monitors must be well designed and maintained to operate without unnecessary nuisance alarms.

This guide provides information on different types of monitors for searching pedestrians and vehicles. Each monitor has an inherent sensitivity at a particular nuisance alarm rate that must be low enough to maintain the monitor’credibility. Sensitivity and nuisance alarm rates are both governed by the alarm threshold so it is very important that corresponding values for both be known when measured, estimated, or specified values are discussed. Fitting SNM monitors into a facility physical protection plan must not only consider adequate sensitivity but also a sufficiently low nuisance alarm rate.


1.1 This guide briefly describes the state-of-the-art of radiation monitors for detecting special nuclear material (SNM) (see 3.1.11) in order to establish the context in which to write performance standards for the monitors. This guide extracts information from technical documentation to provide information for selecting, calibrating, testing, and operating such radiation monitors when they are used for the control and protection of SNM. This guide offers an unobtrusive means of searching pedestrians, packages, and motor vehicles for concealed SNM as one part of a nuclear material control or security plan for nuclear materials. The radiation monitors can provide an efficient, sensitive, and reliable means of detecting the theft of small quantities of SNM while maintaining a low likelihood of nuisance alarms.

1.2 Dependable operation of SNM radiation monitors rests on selecting appropriate monitors for the task, operating them in a hospitable environment, and conducting an effective program to test, calibrate, and maintain them. Effective operation also requires training in the use of monitors for the security inspectors who attend them. Training is particularly important for hand-held monitoring where the inspector plays an important role in the search by scanning the instrument over pedestrians and packages or throughout a motor vehicle.

1.3 SNM radiation monitors are commercially available in three forms:

1.3.1 Small Hand-Held MonitorsThese monitors may be used by an inspector to manually search pedestrians and vehicles that stop for inspection.

1.3.2 Automatic Pedestrian MonitorsThese monitors are doorway or portal monitors that search pedestrians in motion as they pass between radiation detectors, or wait-in monitoring booths that make extended measurements to search pedestrians while they stop to obtain exit clearance.

1.3.3 Automatic Vehicle MonitorsThese monitors are portals that monitor vehicles as they pass between radiation detectors, or vehicle monitoring stations that make extended measurements to search vehicles while they stop to obtain exit clearance.

1.4 Guidance for applying SNM monitors is available as Atomic Energy Commission/Nuclear Regulatory Commission (AEC/NRC) regulatory guides, AEC/ERDA/DOE performance standards, and more recently as handbooks and applications guides published by national laboratories under DOE sponsorship. This broad information base covering the pertinent physics, engineering practice, and equipment available for monitoring has had no automatic mechanism for periodic review and revision. This ASTM series of guides and standards will consolidate the information in a form that is reexamined and updated on a fixed schedule.

1.5 Up-to-date information on monitoring allows both nuclear facilities and regulatory agencies to be aware of the current range of monitoring alternatives. Up-to-date information also allows manufacturers to be aware of the current goals of facilities and regulators, for example, to obtain particular sensitivities at a low nuisance alarm rate with instrumentation that is dependable and easy to maintain.

1.6 This guide updates and expands the scope of NRC regulatory guides and AEC/ERDA/DOE SNM monitor performance standards using the listed publications as a technical basis.

1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

1.8 This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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