Nuclear metrology in emergency conditions: mobile intervention means dedicated to the environment at the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN)
Congress title :INSINUME 2008 - International Symposium on In Situ Nuclear Metrology as a Tool for Radioecology
Congress town :Rabat
Congress date :13/10/2008
The field of competence of the IRSN includes risks related to nuclear activities and ionizing radiation used in industry, research or medicine or even of natural origin.
In the event of an accident or incident involving ionising radiation, the IRSN supports the action taken by the public authorities by offering measures of a technical, health-related, and medical nature in order to ensure the protection of the population, workers and the environment, and restore the security of the facilities.
For two years, the IRSN has been acquiring new mobile intervention means dedicated to the environment and to medical branch. Regarding the environmental part, the crews of these vehicles ensure direct measurements or environmental samples measurements, as well as the coordination and the communication with the IRSN Emergency Technical Centre (ETC).
The emergency operations vehicle (EOV) is carried out to transport a team together with its equipment for radiological analysis. According to the missions, specific gears are going onboard: sampling and measurements, protection equipments, intervention outfits and satellite communication station.
An alternative vehicle, dedicated to package checking, is specifically designed to intervene in case of transportation accident.
The laboratory vehicle (VLAB) enables the preparation and the measurements of samples, using different types of analysis, matrix, radionuclides, in laboratory conditions.
It is fitted out with a working and preparation area enabling to pack samples. Main tool in case of a nuclear crisis, the gamma spectrometry is ensured by four NaI(Tl) detectors and a portable and electrical-cooled germanium HPGe detector, all are lead-shielded. An alpha/beta counter and a liquid scintillation counter complete the scope of measurements.
The germanium HPGe detector is fitted out with template software, able to perform in-situ monitoring and characterizations of materials with various shapes, entirely or partly made, or even containing various radioactive materials.
The autonomy is ensured by the three following systems: mains, additional batteries and generator.
Le laboratory vehicle, fitted out with satellite communication station, transmits reliable and accurate data from environmental samples to the emergency centre.
Currently, there are two ways of mobilization for these mobile means.
On the one hand, crisis exercises are scheduled on a monthly basis. They enable to test the equipments on the ground, as well as to validate the IRSN procedures and the ones established in collaboration with public authorities.
On the other hand, the IRSN Department for Radiological Protection Operations and Assistance (SIAR) uses these means for its daily missions. The different types of vehicles enable to fit the missions. The Department provides advice and expertises for the prevention from radiological risks or the management of polluted sites, it is able to intervene in case of unusual or emergency situation as well.