Simple and Easy-to-Use Codeac Colorimetric Nuclear Detection Wipes

SciWise Solutions partnered with Codeac Solutions in Canada who specialize in the rapid and simple detection of elemental uranium, plutonium, americium, and cobalt and primary transition metals through a field colorimetric test. One of their most exciting products for this purpose is a nuclear detection wipe that changes colour within 60 seconds upon contact.

Developed at Idaho National Laboratory, under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Codeac was named one of the top 15 new innovations of 2019 by Analytical Scientist Magazine and placed eighth overall in international competition for this award.

While swipe tests (or wipe tests) have long been used to assess surface contamination, this has traditionally only been after a sample is prepared and then placed in a sample reader which is often at some distance from the suspected contaminated surface. Further, swipe tests have historically also required highly trained individuals to operate. By contrast, the new Codeac Colorimetric Nuclear Detection wipe is a simple test that changes colour depending on the contaminant present. This allows field personnel with no special training or supplementary equipment to rapidly and accurately detect uranium, plutonium, americium, cobalt and other transition elements of interest.

Codeac Colorimetric Nuclear Detection Wipes

The simplicity of use and rapid detection technology make Codeac wipes an ideal addition to first responder hazard kits. Basic hazard kits currently in use by the majority of first responders to detect unknown substances focus on chemical and biological hazards. Adding Codeac Nuclear Detection swipes would provide effective peace of mind for radionuclide detection at minimal cost and all without the use of an instrument.

Because Codeac technology relies on chemical rather than radiological properties, these wipes have to potential to enhance environmental safety by being able to detect some non-radioactive heavy metals and relatively un-radioactive depleted uranium. Currently, detecting depleted uranium is quite a cumbersome process involving a large unwieldy field instrument to detect low energy radiation. By contrast, a simple swipe test offers a conveniently portable and low-cost approach.

The simplicity and portability of these new Codeac Nuclear Detection wipes makes them ideal not only for first responders but also to support initial elemental detection by soldiers and decontamination personnel without the weight and encumbrance of a dedicated radiation detector. Radiation detectors, both electronic and conventional wipe tests, would still be required for proper investigation, attribution, and mitigation, but the gains to efficiency and response time offered by a simple test that could be administered by anyone on-site cannot be overstated. There is also potential to add these swipe tests to border control measures or security investigations where it is suspected that radioactive isotopes of interest may have been handled.

Contributing to Nuclear Safety and Security

With our expertise and commitment to securing and deploying the best cutting-edge technologies to help our clients enhance safety, SciWise Solutions is proud to add the novel Codeac Single Use Nuclear Detection Wipes and Codeac Single Use Ampoules to our offerings. In addition to leading technologies, SciWise also offers a wide range of services to enhance safety through detection, measurement, data analysis, waste management and risk assessments that enhance the ability of industry and communities to make informed decisions related to radiological and nuclear risks.

Video Demo Links:

Nuclear Detection Wipe – YouTube
Dry-wipe with Codeac Single-use Ampule – YouTube
Water test – YouTube
Soil Test – YouTube