Comparison of triple-to-double coincidence ratio (TDCR) efficiency calculations and uncertainty assessments for Tc-99

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A comparison exercise for data analysis was recently conducted by the Liquid Scintillation Counting Working Group (LSCWG) of the International Committee on Radionuclide Metrology (ICRM) to evaluate the uncertainties involved in applying different analysis methodologies (including computer programs) for the triple-to-double coincidence ratio (TDCR) method. The goals of the comparison were to (1) study differences in calculation results from different TDCR analysis programs, (2) investigate differences in analysis techniques and uncertainty assessment philosophies between laboratories, and (3) study the effect of not taking asymmetry of photomultiplier tube (PMT) efficiencies into account on the calculated activity. To achieve this, a single set of TDCR data for the pure beta emitter 99Tc, was distributed to the participants, who analyzed the data according to their normal procedures and report the activity concentration of the 99Tc solution from their results. The results indicate that the presently used programs are generally able to calculate the same activity values, assuming that the correct input parameters are used and that not taking PMT asymmetry into account in the calculations can lead to significant (0.6% for 99Tc) errors in reported results. The comparison also highlighted the need for a more rigorous approach to estimating and reporting uncertainties. © 2010, Elsevier Ltd.
Uncertainty principle, Technetium 99, Coincidence methods, Photomultipliers, Data analysis, Asymmetry
Zimmerman, B. E., Altzitzoglou, T., Rodrigues, D., Broda, R., Cassette, P., Mo, L., Ratel, G., Simpson, B., van Wyngaardt, W. M., Watjen, C. (2010). Comparison of triple-to-double coincidence ratio (TDCR) efficiency calculations and uncertainty assessments for Tc-99. Paper presented to the 17th International Conference on Radionuclide Metrology and its Applications (ICRM 2009), 7th - 11th September 2009. Slovak Institute of Metrology: Bratislava, Slovak Republic. In Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 68(7-8), 1477-1481. doi:10.1016/j.apradiso.2009.11.046