New RFID technology tracks and monitors nuclear materials

Mar 24, 2009
New RFID technology tracks and monitors nuclear materials
Argonne nuclear engineer Yung Liu examines data using the radio-frequency identification device developed at the laboratory. The technology allows users not only track nuclear materials, but also remotely monitor environmental and physical conditions such as temperature and humidity.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices have widely been used for tracking for years; recently, scientists from U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed a unique tracking technology that also monitors the environmental and physical conditions of containers of nuclear materials in storage and transportation.

" technology is ideally suited for management of during both storage and transportation," said Dr. Yung Liu, Argonne senior nuclear engineer and RFID project manager. "Key information about the nuclear materials is acquired in real-time," he explained.

Data on the status and history of each individual container are available with a click of the mouse and can be used to augment and modernize DOE's existing management systems for nuclear materials.

"The Argonne system can simultaneously monitor thousands of drums 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Any abnormal situation, such a loss of seal, a sudden shock, a rise in temperature or humidity, can trigger an alarm for immediate action," Liu explained.

The monitoring of tens of thousands of radioactive and fissile material packages has been a challenge for DOE to ensure accountability, safety, security and worker and public health.

"The RFID system that Dr. Liu and his group developed with collaborators will help DOE overcome this challenge," said Dr. James Shuler, Manager of DOE Packaging Certification Program, Office of Environmental Management.

This RFID technology also has applications outside the nuclear field and may be used for other hazardous materials or any valued material, according to Liu.

"This new Argonne RFID technology, expected to be patented, has applications in many industries and as the technology is further developed, its usefulness is bound to grow."

An RFID video is online at www.media.anl.gov/TechnicalServices/DIS/RFID.wmv .

Source: Argonne National Laboratory

Explore further: Our new anti-earthquake technology could protect cities from destruction

Related Stories

NIST Issues Guidelines for Ensuring RFID Security

Apr 27, 2007

Retailers, manufacturers, hospitals, federal agencies and other organizations planning to use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to improve their operations should also systematically evaluate the possible security ...

Super RFID: UK company driving next-generation development

Apr 06, 2005

The call from RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) integrators for the next generation of technology, dubbed "Super RFID", has been answered by University of Leeds spinout company Instrumentel Ltd. While it has been pre ...

Recommended for you

Focused energy of lasers breaks microscopic adhesion

Jul 02, 2015

Small objects tend to cling to everything. It's why parents dread hosting parties that involve confetti. It's why glitter is fun for crafts—until it finds its way onto everything else you touch.

Insect decoys could protect ash trees

Jul 02, 2015

Emerald ash borers have no trouble reproducing themselves as they have now spread through half the United States, but duplicating effective emerald ash borer decoys is not quite as easy. Now, engineers have ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.