[ RadSafe ] RE Alphatron gauges
GEOelectronics at netscape.com
Sat May 8 16:04:50 CDT 2010
The Alpha Ray Vacuum Gauge or Alphatron gauges did have radium in them, some even had two chambers, each with a source. However Alphatron was also a brand name and they made many different products, only a few of which were radium bearing gauges. Those that did were well marked. They are NOT exempt. Information available today would lead one to think that the radioactive ones were models 520 though 820, but there is no firm citation for that available.
If anyone wants to know what the gauge is, it is merely a cold cathode Ion Vacuum Gauge in which the filament is replaces by a radioactive source.
Here is a picture of one from an incident in 2004:
Perhaps the earlier radsafe message you are looking for is copied for you here here:
a.. To: "Tom O'Dou" <todou at cabreraservices.com>, "Ken Smith" <ksmith at cats.ucsc.edu>, <radsafe at list.vanderbilt.edu>
b.. Subject: Info on old Alphatron gauge -Varian contacts
c.. From: " Walter Cofer" <cofer at NETTALLY.COM>
d.. Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2002 09:34:28 -0500
e.. References: <2B295C460FFB5F40B3B073A5FD4000990327FF at ehs.ehs-domain.ucsc.edu> <003901c1954a$4ce79b10$e562ea18 at D3NZZQ01>
f.. Reply-To: " Walter Cofer" <cofer at NETTALLY.COM>
g.. Sender: owner-radsafe at list.vanderbilt.edu
Here is the information I have for contacting Varian:
Varian Assoc., Inc.
2700 Mitchell Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Larry Steinwandt, RSO (Ext. 2136)
Karen Emry, Asst. RSO
(925) 939-2400, (800) 544-4636, (925) 945-2136
Both Larry and Karen have always been very helpful when I have contacted them for similar inquiries. Hope this helps.
FL Bureau of Radiation Control
walter_cofer at doh.state.fl.us
----- Original Message -----
From: Tom O'Dou
To: Ken Smith ; radsafe at list.vanderbilt.edu
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 1:04 PM
Subject: Re: Info needed on old "Alphatron" Gauge -
A web search found.
REGISTRY OF RADIOACTIVE SEALED SOURCES AND DEVICES SAFETY EVALUATION OF DEVICE NO.: IL- 661- D- 102- S DATE: 3/ 1/ 76 DEVICE TYPE: Alphatron Ionization Vacuum Gauge MODEL: Not Noted MANUFACTURER/ DISTRIBUTOR: Varian Associates Palo Alto, California SEALED SOURCE MODEL DESIGNATION: ISOTOPE: Not Noted LEAK TEST FREQUENCY: 06 months MAXIMUM ACTIVITY: Not Noted PAGE 1 OF 1 PRINCIPAL USE: N CUSTOM DEVICE: YES X NO I .J I - age 1 of 1
Tom O'Dou, CHP, RRPT
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Smith
To: radsafe at list.vanderbilt.edu
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 4:55 PM
Subject: Info needed on old "Alphatron" Gauge -
Hi Radsafers -
I'm looking for help on identifying an old source that we recently came across here. The source is labeled:
The gauge was most likely manufactured around 1968 - 1969 and contains 500 uCI (microcuries) of Ra-226.
The source is cylindrical in shape about 7 in long and 2.5 inches in diameter. It was also labeled 0.05 rad - 8 hr at 1 ft. The source was most likely made in the late sixties, possibly between 1968 and 1969
That is a new marking to me. I'm assuming that it means the dose to an individual at 1 ft for 8 hrs in 0.05 rad.
If anyone has any information about this device I would vary much appreciate hearing form you.
Thanks in advance -
I know there's already been some talks about this subject several years ago but for whatever reason I'm not able to go through radsafe archives.
I'd like to know if these gauges contain radium sealed sources or not.
I recently had to make an expertise on 2 gauges and the dose rate (several µSv per hour) didn't fit with the mentioned activity (500 µCi).
But I found several metal plates (1cm per 1,5 cm) in a leaded container nearby with a dose rate of 9 mSv per hour at 1 cm. So I wondered if these plates could have been the gauges sources. The radium is not fixed on the plates.
I can send some pics of the gauges and the plates for those who are interested.
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