Day in the Life of a Rad Sample
RadNet fixed (stationary) air monitors sample the air continuously at an approximate flow rate of 60 cubic meters per hour (Adults typically breathe at a rate of about 20 cubic meters per day.) The monitors collect any particles in the sample on a filter.
The filters from each monitor are sent to EPA's National Analytical Radiation Environmental Laboratory, where they are analyzed for gross beta radiation. If beta activity in the sample exceeds one picocurie per cubic meter (1 pCi/m3), the lab conducts a follow-up scan for gamma activity. Composites of the air filters are analyzed for plutonium (Pu-238, Pu-239, Pu-240) and uranium (U-234, U-235, and U-238) once a year. The laboratory can analyze the filters for other radionuclides as needed.