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Question
At work, we use a Fluke 451-RYR survey meter to check for radiation after performing high dose rate brachytherapy with Iridium 192.  While checking the source, the survey meter was left on in the actual treatment room (thereby receiving dose from the Iridium).  Does that damage the survey meter? I'm not sure how it works.  Just wondering if that interferes with it's calibration or....anything of that nature.

Answer
You checked the source with it, and just left it in the room?  I googled it, seems like a standard survey meter, meaning a geiger tube based on the energy thresholds I saw listed.  That should not damage the survey meter, even if you left it on and left it close to the actual treatment area.  It would take a massive dose and Fluke makes instruments which are plenty well-controlled against current and voltage surges.  If it works at all, its calibration should (you should check it) still be good.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

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Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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