Solutions in radiation measurement for POCO
JCS Identify low-cost, COTS solutions to enhance the POCO inspection work that NNL are currently undertaking at Sellafield and beyond.
JCS has been working with the National Nuclear Laboratory for the last 2 years, supplying solutions which support the inspection team in building up a vital radiometric inventory of the many cells and vessels that are undergoing inspection before decommissioning and POCO activities.
The inspection teams are tasked with making visual inspections in a variety of contaminated environments, with limited access through small apertures and ports, using small cameras on extension rods and poles.
The challenge for JCS was to provide a gamma dose monitoring solution that could be deployed at the same time as the cameras during these inspection activities. Providing the NNL teams both visual and radiological data simultaneously is contributing to the reduced exposure time of personnel in active areas, in line with ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Possible) personnel dose exposure principals.
The platform for our solution is the RMS30 Intelligent Monitor, which is an existing system designed to accept a wide variety of radiation sensors for targeted applications.
The project started at one of the Ind-Ex technical exhibitions held at Sellafield in late 2013 where JCS’s MD Oliver Caunt met with the NNL Technical Lead and the concept of deploying low-cost COTS gamma sensors was devised. This approach would immediately amplify the quality of data her inspection teams were gathering in a single task.
The simplicity of the RMS30 system, and flexibility in its design, to perform tasks that previously only an installed system could provide have proved highly valuable for NNL. The RMS30 Instrument is small, can be mounted or hung on a wall, or simply stood up and, when not mains power it has an impressive 10-hour battery life.
The smart probes can be on cables up to 800 metres long (but are generally deployed on 30m cables) and are available in a range of models to meet a wide gamma energy range. As the probes are smart, they are easy to replace and operate. Plug and play principals ensure that inspectors can simply replace a probe if it reaches the end of its working life in areas of high activity and using very stable, existing GM tube technology ensures a cost-effective solution to providing accurate data in some of the most challenging environments on site.
“JCS have understood the measurement challenges we have and presented a highly valuable and cost-effective solution to enhance our current inspection work to include Radiometric data gathering as well as camera footage. This has helped reduce the time the inspection team needs to loiter in classified areas.”