Alternative Technologies for Industrial Radioactive Gauges

Following extensive research and stakeholder discussions, facilitated by PSI, EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and Indoor Air funded a competitive bid process to support the demonstration and verification of innovative gauging technologies that have the potential to reduce or eliminate the use of radioactive materials at manufacturing facilities.

Two leading manufacturers of product measurement and quality control equipment – EGS Gauging, Inc. of Billerica, MA and NDC Infrared Engineering, Inc. of Irwindale, California – were awarded funding to develop new technologies that reduce industry’s reliance on radioactive isotopes.

EGS Gauging, Inc. received approximately $75,000 to demonstrate that the company’s non-nuclear True Caliper measurement, using optical and magnetic technology, can replace radioactive devices used to measure the thickness and density of various paper, film, and plastic sheets.

NDC Infrared Engineering received approximately $150,000 to conduct research and development on an x-ray technology that has the potential to replace devices that use gamma and beta radiation in the plastics, pulp, and paper industries.

While EPA will manage this project, the Product Stewardship Institute will continue to bring key parties together to strengthen the project. PSI will seek stakeholder review with respect to the project findings, and integrate input pertaining to the technical and financial feasibility of these alternative gauge technologies. PSI will also identify barriers to market acceptance of the new technologies, and recommend strategies for greater use.

Project Background: Phase I of the project, which was completed in April 2004, involved conducting research and generating a Background Report, and managing a results-oriented dialogue between representatives from industry associations, leading device manufacturers, professional organizations, recyclers, waste brokers, disposal facilities, state government agencies, and federal agencies. Phase II, slated to be completed by the end of 2006, supports the demonstration and verification of existing alternative technologies and the research and development of potential future solutions, as described above.

The following documents provide further information about this project and the feasibility of alternative gauging solutions.

Press Release