Success Story

Safer Management Of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials

For years, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been used in a variety of applications, from passports to inventory tracking in retail environments. Homeland security concerns have heightened the need for sensitive, real-time tracking of thousands of radioactive and hazardous material packages to ensure accountability, safety, security and worker and public health. Argonne scientists successfully developed ARG-US (“watchful guardian”), a remote-sensing system for monitoring and tracking nuclear and other sensitive materials based on RFID technology.

ARG-US uses battery-powered RFID tag sensors to remotely monitor the vital parameters of packages containing sensitive materials and has automatic alarm notification capabilities. The original goal in developing ARG-US RFID technology was to support the U.S. Department of Energy in modernizing the life-cycle management of nuclear materials and enhancing safety, security safeguards, and sustainability.

The form factor of the RFID tag was designed to be broadly compatible with common packaging material and has undergone radiation endurance testing. The sensor suite includes seal integrity, radiation, temperature, humidity and shock, and can be expanded to accommodate additional sensors. Sophisticated battery management and monitoring extends battery life to 10 years or more.

The technology was licensed exclusively to Evigia Systems, Inc. in July 2012 for commercial production of components and systems for nuclear and non-nuclear applications. This agreement highlights the value of ARG-US RFID technology and will facilitate technology transfer to the marketplace. Evigia Systems, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of ISO-18000 Par 7 RFID tags and readers and has been a steady supplier for the U.S. Department of Defense.