New RFID technology tracks and monitors nuclear materials

March 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: Comparing RFID Frequencies for Item-Level Pharmaceutical Applications

Related Stories

NIST Issues Guidelines for Ensuring RFID Security

April 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 ...

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

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.