Counter is easy to use for LSC and luminescence

19 February 2009

"You can transport it in the boot of a car; then it's just one button to select a program and away you go" - that's the unequivocal verdict of Radiation Protection Officer Jon Fear on the new Triathler single-vial scintillation counter / luminometer in the Safety Department at Imperial College London.

"The College is spread over a number of sites, so we needed an instrument that was as portable as possible," explains Jon. "We use it for decommissioning work (reading swabs that have been taken from labs where H-3 and C-14 have been handled), and also to help us characterise and/or quantify unknown radioactive wastes and legacy samples that come to us."

Many of the results the Department gets are used to provide evidence to regulators such as The Environment Agency that labs have no residual contamination issues, so staff need to be confident that the machine is always working at its best.

"That's why we've taken out a support contract with LabLogic Systems," adds Jon. 'Their technicians clearly know the instrument well and are very helpful if we have any problems.'

Triathler provides instant LSC and luminescence measurements deal for users who have two dozen or so samples to analyze, and considered indispensable by many radiation protection specialists.

It accepts vials of any size, from Eppendorf tubes right up to 20 ml capacity, and is pre-programmed for most isotopes and luminescence.

In LSC mode, it has preset modes for 3H, 14C, 32P, 33P, 35S, and reliable detection for most other radio-nuclides. The alpha-beta separation electronics are especially suitable for detecting alpha-isotopes such as radon (222Rn) in water.

As a luminometer, Triathler has high sensitivity to both 'glow' and 'flash' reagents and allows a full range of techniques common in microbiology, immunology, and genetic research.

With a Sodium Iodide (NaI) well which is available as an optional extra it can also be used for gamma counting. The modes for 57Co, 51Cr, 131I and 99mTc are programmable.