Field Radiation Laboratory


The Office of Radiological Health has a Radiological Emergency Response Team equipped with field instrumentation for monitoring radiation and a mobile laboratory for performing laboratory analysis so that a rapid assessment of a radiological incident can be made and the appropriate recommendations provided to state and local officials.


  • Provide mobile radioloigcal laboratory services for transportation incidents involving radioactive materials
  • Provide mobile radioloigcal laboratory services for non emergencies and investigational activities in the field, such as responding to radiation monitors at scrap metal facilities and land fills.

The Field Radiation Laboratory vehicle was manufactured at the Wheeled Coach facility in Florida and delivered to VDH in Richmond, VA in October, 2005.  This vehicle differs significantly from the larger Mobile Incident Command Laboratory.  This vehicle lacks the much heavier shielding necessary to achieve low-level environmental detection limits for the ingestion phase of a commercial nuclear power plant accident.  However, this vehicle is much more practical to respond to along a highway and its equipment is quite capable of detecting radiation levels for emergency assessments such as during the plume phase of a commercial nuclear power plant accident.

Vehicle Specifications

  • 2004 Wheeled Coach Ford E450 DRW Ambulance
  • 14050 lbs GVW
  • Height 9′ (not including antenna)
  • Fuel capacity- 37 gallons- Diesel
  • Features- Patient lift for loading/unloading the in situ detector
  • Electrical- 6 kW generator, shore power- two 30 amp/110 volt single phase service
  • AC/heater unit

Radiation Laboratory

Gamma Analysis: High Purity drifted Germanium (HpGe) detector with beryllium window(for low energy detection), detector is mounted on a cart for in situ measurements.

Alpha/beta counting: Counting system with single drawer for detection of alpha and beta radiation.


  • Mixed gamma in Marinelli beaker
  • Radio-iodine in charcoal filter and filter paper
  • Americium-241(alpha emitter) on planchette
  • Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 (beta emitters) on planchette

Portable Instrumentation

  • Alpha Scintillation survey meters and probes
  • micro-R- meters
  • Radionuclide identifers with neutron detection capability
  • GM Survey meters with stick probes or pancake probes
  • Survey meter with extendable probe to reach rail cars
  • Air samplers with tripods and external battery supply

Communications/Audio/Visual Capabilities

  • Radio
  • Satellite phone
  • Cellular phone service
  • Land lines and FAX machine

Potassium Iodine (KI) tablets for emergency workers.

Office of Radiological Health | 109 Governor Street,  7th Floor | Richmond, VA  23219

Telephone (804) 864-8150 | Fax: (804) 864-8155