Noble Gas Detection Systems

SAUNA- Swedish Automatic Unit for Noble Gas Aquisition

The noble gas xenon is produced in large amounts in a nuclear explosion. In an underground test xenon is most probably the only radioactivity that will be released to the atmosphere. The reason is that xenon is a noble gas, and will therefore not react chemically with the environment like other release products. In fact, for an underground test, radioxenon is most likely the only unmistakable proof that the explosion was nuclear.

This fact has prompted the development of a set of products with the purpose to measure very small amounts of radioxenon in the atmosphere, under the name SAUNA. The systems are capable to detect only a few hundred atoms of four different isotopes of radioxenon present in one cubic meter of air.