Skip to main content

Non-destructive analysis of pure-beta emitters: applications in nuclear forensics


This paper describes the development of a non-destructive method for analysis of pure-beta minus radioactive sources. An experimental set-up based on plastic scintillation detection system was built for this purpose. It was tested using standard 90Sr/90Y radioactive sources. The experimental results were compared to theoretical calculations based on Fermi’s beta decay theory as well as with Monte-Carlo simulations using a predefined GEANT4 code named rdecay01. All the obtained results showed to be in good agreement.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


  1. IAEA Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB) (2019) Incidents of nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control fact sheet. Accessed 18 June 2019

  2. L’Annunziata M (2016) Chapter 6—Beta radiation and beta decay, radioactivity, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  3. Jødal L (2009) Beta emitters and radiation protection. Acta Oncol 48(2):308–313

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Remeikis V, Lagzdina E, Garbaras A, Gudelis A, Garankin J, Plukienė R et al (2018) Rapid analysis method for the determination of 14C specific activity in irradiated graphite. PLoS ONE 13(1):e0191677.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Dobrin R, Pavelescu M, Dulama C (2011) Measurements of βeta ray emitters in LSC using efficiency tracing Ciemat/Nist method. Rom J Phys 56:1148–1155

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Mougeot X, Bé M, Bisch C (2014) Calculation of beta spectral shapes Radioprotection 49(4):269–273.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Atroschenko V, Kopeikin V, Litvinovich E, Lukyanchenko L (2017) Calculation and measurement of 144Ce- 144Pr β -spectrum. J Phys Conf Ser 934:012012.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Murthy M (1971) Shape and average energy of beta-particle spectra 90Y. J Appl Radiat Isot 22(2):111–123

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hansen H (1983) Measurement of the beta-ray spectra of 90Sr-90Y. J Appl Radiat Isot 34(8):1241–1247

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Yalcin S, Gurler O, Gundogdu O (2011) Analytical investigation of energy spectrums of beta rays emitted from 90Sr and 204Tl radioisotopes. J Radioannal Nucl Chem.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Behrens H, Janecke J (1969) Numerical tables for beta-decay and electron capture (Landolt-Burnstein new series), vol ¼. Springer, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  12. Djelepov B (1972) Beta processes. Functions for the analysis of beta-spectra and electron capture. Accessed 3 June 2019

  13. Siegbahn K (1965) Alpha, beta and gamma ray spectroscopy. North Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam

    Book  Google Scholar 

  14. LNE – LNHB/CEA – Table de Radionucleides. Accessed 22 May 2019

  15. GEANT4: A Simulation toolkit - GEANT4 Collaboration (Agostinelli S et al.) Nucl Instrum Meth A 506 (2003) 250-303, SLAC-PUB-9350, FERMILAB-PUB-03-339

Download references


We would like to thank Dr. Alexandru Balaceanu of IFIN-HH for his contribution in providing the old detectors for the new build beta spectrometer and Vlad Vramulet of IFIN-HH for providing the radioactive sources of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Larisa M. Ganea.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ganea, L.M., Apostol, A.I. & Pantelica, A. Non-destructive analysis of pure-beta emitters: applications in nuclear forensics. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 322, 1641–1644 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • 90Sr/90Y radioactive sources
  • Beta spectrometry
  • Nuclear forensics
  • GEANT4