Criticality Belt (ca. early 1960s)

This criticality belt came from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and as I recall, it had belonged to John Auxier. The handwritten tag that came with it states "Belt with imbedded dosimeters. For accidents (excursions?) late 1950s." While there are no markings on it, I am almost certain that this is the "Casualty Belt" manufactured by Radiation Detection Company of Palo Alto California.

Criticality belt
Criticality belt

In the only reference I have come across to this belt, an advertisement in the April 1961 issue of Health Physics, the company describes their "latest development" as follows: "The R.D. belt is an improved means of determining neutron exposure from criticality accidents. Providing accurate attenuation data as well as traditional measurements, the belt detects the neutron dose from any angle. Neutron exposures as low as 10 rad. can be detected, while the upper limit extends far beyond the lethal range. Belts are of leather and similar in appearance and serviceability to good quality dress belts. Sizes range from 30 to 46."

The photograph above right shows the bulge in the belt at the location of one of the dosimeters. There appear to be two dosimeters at each of four locations spaced at 7" intervals along the belt.


Radiation Detection Co. advertisement. Health Physics Vol. 5, April 1961.