Assessment of Nuclear Moisture Density Gauges at a Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratory in Ghana during December 2015–December 2017

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Legon, Accra, Ghana

2 Health Physics and Instrumentation Centre, Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Accra

3 Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, Atomic Campus, University of Ghana, Kwabenya, Accra, Ghana


Introduction: Nuclear moisture density gauges are widely used in construction industry in different countries across the world, including Ghana, on a large scale. Like all irradiating devices, the nuclear gauges should be subjected to radiation safety assessment based on radiation protection and safety principles. Regarding this, the objective of this research was to investigate the radiation safety of the nuclear moisture density gauges to ensure the absence of any leakages from the radioactive source.
Material and Methods: For the purpose of the study, a survey meter (RADOS-120) was used to measure and record the radiation dose once at a distance of 1 m from the surfaces of all sides of the nuclear moisture density gauge and very close distance from the surfaces of the device. Moreover, the device was examined using radiation contamination test and counts on a standard block.
Results: A total of nine nuclear moisture density gauges manufactured by Troxler Electronics Inc. in the USA were evaluated within a period of 3 years. The minimum and maximum average dose rates were 0.49 and 66.67 μSv/h, respectively. The highest and lowest average dose rates were recorded in 2017 and 2016 on the devices with serial numbers of 38260 and 32839, respectively.
Conclusion: The assessment of the nuclear moisture density gauges under study revealed noradiation contamination leakage. Furthermore, all the evaluated gauges were shown to function properly and were safe for the intended purposes.


Main Subjects


    1. Martin JE. Physics for radiation protection. John Wiley & Sons; 2000 May 29.
    2. Troxler Electronic Laboratories Inc. Manual of Operation and Instruction: Model 3440 Surface Moisture-Density Gauge. 2016. Available from :
    3. International Organization for Standardization. Reference Photon Radiations-Dosimetry of X and Gamma reference Radiations for Radiation Protection over the Energy Range from 8 keV to 1.3MeV and from 4MeV to 9MeV ISO/DIS, 4037-2, Geneva. 1995.
    4. Peaple LH, Birch R, Marshall M. Measurement of the ISO series of filtered radiations. UKAEA Harwell Lab.(UK). Environmental and Medical Science Div; 1989.
    5. International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA). Manual on Safety Aspects of the  Design and Equipment of Laboratories, 1981 Edition. 1968.
    6. International Organization for Standardization. Reference, Sources for the Calibration of Surface Monitors, Beta-Emitters of maximum energy greater than 0.15MeV and Alpha Emitters. ISO/DIS 8769, Geneva. 1986.


Volume 17, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
January and February 2020
Pages 35-37
  • Receive Date: 06 October 2018
  • Revise Date: 30 January 2019
  • Accept Date: 10 February 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 January 2020