Work packages

WP1: Reference materials and sources

(CMI, BEV/PTP, CEA, CIEMAT, ENEA, IST, JRC, MKEH, NPL, STUK, REG(SURO))

Start month: Sept 13, End month: Jun 16

The aim of this work package is to develop reference materials and st andard sources to enable accurate and traceable calibration of measurement instruments developed in WP2. The reference materials and sources will be realised as two basic types:

1. Reference materials and st andard sources for laboratory measurement.

2. Reference materials and st andard sources for in-situ measurement

Inter-comparisons will be organised between JRP-Partners for sources and reference materials. Traceability to national st andard for activity of radionuclides will be ensured by measurement in JRP-Partner laboratories.

Task 1.1: Specification of reference materials and st andard sources on the basis of selection and evaluation of NORM raw materials
Task 1.2: Reference materials and st andard sources for laboratory use
Task 1.3: Reference materials and st andard sources for in-situ measurement instruments
Task 1.4: St andardisation of the reference material and st andard sources

 

WP2: Development of in-situ measurement systems and sampling methods

(NPL, BEV/PTP, CEA, CMI, ENEA, IJS, STUK, REG(SURO))

Start month: Sept 13, End month: Jun 16

The aim of this work package is to develop and test measurement systems, methods and techniques including in-situ systems which support innovative industrial processing of resources containing naturally occurring radioactive material.

Task 2.1: Development of an in-situ measurement system
Task 2.2: Development of a sampling device for laboratory analysis
Task 2.3: 220Rn (thoron)

 

WP3: St andardisation of measurement procedures

(JRC, BEV/PTP, CIEMAT, CMI, ENEA, IJS, IST, MKEH, NPL, NRPA, STUK, REG(BOKU), REG(SURO))

Start month: Sept 13, End month: Aug 15

The aim of this work-package is to identify and compare procedures for measuring radioactivity used in the European NORM industry. Based on the identified best practices and based on developments made in other work-packages, traceable measurement procedures (as input to e.g. CEN/CENELEC st andards as part of WP6) for industrial NORM raw material, products, by-products, residues and waste will be defined. The work will be steered towards optimising impact by focussing on major industry sectors in Europe such as, for example, (a) the phosphate industry, (b) the building material industry, (c) the water industry (including ground water filtration and drinking water production), (d) the recycling industry, (e) the oil and gas industry and (f) the steel industry and also considering branches such as (g) TiO2 pigment production, (h) extraction of rare earth metals, (i) niobium/tantalum ore processing and (j) tin foundries and tin/lead/copper smeltings. EAN-NORM (The European ALARA Network for Naturally Occurring radioactive Materials), will be consulted as part of this WP.

Task 3.1: Identification and development of NORM-RN key-measurement methods
Task 3.2: St andardisation of measurement procedures for laboratory analysis
Task 3.3: St andardisation of measurement procedures for in-situ measurements on industrial sites

 

WP4: Improvement of NORM related decay data

(CEA, BEV/PTP, CIEMAT, CMI, ENEA, IST, JRC, MKEH, NPL, REG(BOKU))

Start month: Sept 13, End month: Jun 16

The aims of this workpackage are: to improve the quality of the currently available decay data of some of the naturally occurring radionuclides; to analyse the difficulties which arise in the measurement of NORM samples; to propose solutions and recommendations for best practice gamma-spectrometry for the measurements and analysis of selected NORM key-materials and finally to st andardise the 138La rare earth element.

Task 4.1: Improvements of emission intensities in 238U series
Task 4.2: Improvements of emission intensities in the 235U series
Task 4.3: Study of 138La decay
Task 4.4: Study of particular problems appearing in NORM key-materials

 

WP5: On-site/in-situ testing

(IJS, BEV/PTP, CMI, CEA, ENEA, IST, JRC, NPL, NRPA, STUK, REG(BOKU), REG(SURO))

Start month: Feb 15, End month: Jul 16

The aim of this workpackage is on-site/in-situ testing of the measurement procedures and measurement devices developed in JRP IND57 at end-user facilities.

Task 5.1: Specification of verification criteria and procedures
Task 5.2: On-site / in-situ verification of measurement systems and procedures

 

WP6: Creating Impact

(ENEA, all JRP-Partners)

Start month: Sept 13, End month: Aug 16

The aim of this workpackage is to ensure there is JRP impact and dissemination to external bodies and between the JRP-Partners. This JRP will be the first offering of dedicated metrology solutions from the European ionising radiation metrology community to the European NORM industry. The JRP results will be shared with the wider metrological community, stakeholders and end users. This work package will include papers in peer-reviewed journals and contribution to international and national st andard committees and presentations at European conferences. Stakeholder and user groups will be established and workshops specifically aimed at the NORM industries will be organised. Information and training material will be disseminated via the public JRP internet website, which includes material such as training and demonstration in the form of a short video/film on DVD. Links to European (e.g. CEC) and international (e.g. IAEA, IRPA) policy makers and st andardisation organisations (e.g. CEN, CENELEC) will be established. The JRP-Partners will provide and accept guest scientists and develop training documents. Exploitation of the results will possibly result in licensing of measurement methods for in-situ monitoring of NORM material. The test of developed methods is planned via comparison exercises and proficiency tests with stakeholder’s involvement. Stakeholder and user groups will be established.

Task 6.1 Knowledge Transfer
Task 6.2 Training and Dissemination
Task 6.3 Exploitation

 

WP7: JRP Management and Coordination

(BEV/PTP, all JRP-Partners, REG(BOKU), REG(SURO))

Start month: Sept 13, End month: Aug 16

The aim of WP7 is to ensure high quality and efficient project implementation and management. All JRP-Partners will participate through attendance at project meetings and contribution to the reporting. A SharePoint site will be established to enable effective and quick exchange of reports and updates.

The JRP will be managed and coordinated by the JRP-Coordinator (BEV/PTP) so BEV/PTP will lead this WP. BEV/PTP has a proven track record for successfully leading and managing projects, which is provided through extensive support networks within the organisation itself. This provides the BEV/PTP project team with experienced administrative support, for both the financial and management aspects of the project. BEV/PTP will provide an experienced and dedicated project manager who will lead WP7 and who will manage the entire JRP and JRP-Consortium, allowing the scientists to focus and to carry out the work required for WPs 1-5. The project management team will ensure effective time management, reporting on scientific activities and also JRP-Budget control. The JRP-Coordinator will take responsibility for all planned activities and their effective coordination.

Task 7.1: JRP and REG management
Task 7.2: Project meetings
Task 7.3: Reporting

Task 1.1: Specification of reference materials and st andard sources on the basis of selection and evaluation of NORM raw materials

The aim of this task is to select c andidate reference materials and st andard sources by analysis of NORM industry raw materials and wastes to determine similarities in matrices. This has the potential to enable different NORM industries to use similar tools and will aid the production of a suite of well characterised reference materials and st andard sources. The analysis of raw materials of interest will also enable to substitute some real reference materials by certified st andard sources and Monte Carlo (MC) calculations of detection efficiency where appropriate.

Currently, suitable reference materials and st andard sources are either not available or need improvement for calibration at activity of natural radionuclides measurement.

Task 1.2: Reference materials and st andard sources for laboratory use

The aim of this Task is to develop the calibration st andards necessary for the laboratory measurement systems to be used in WP2. These will include natural radionuclides, such as Unat, 226Ra, 232Th, 210Pb and 40K, and may also include 209Po, 227Ac, 228Ra, 229Th, 232U and 138La.

Currently, suitable calibration reference materials and st andard sources for laboratory measurement of natural radionuclides are either not available or need improvement. The improved uncertainty aimed for is up to 5 % for st andard sources and up to 10 % for reference materials.

Task 1.3: Reference materials and st andard sources for in-situ measurement instruments

The aim of this task is to develop the calibrations st andards necessary for in-situ measurement systems to be developed in WP2. This will include natural radionuclides such as Unat, 226Ra, 232Th, 210Pb and 40K, and may also include 209Po, 227Ac, 228Ra, 229Th, 232U and 138La. 

Currently, suitable calibration reference materials and st andard sources for in-situ measurement of natural radionuclides are either not available or need improvement. The improved uncertainty levels expected are up to 5 % for st andard sources and up to 10 % for reference materials.

Task 1.4: St andardisation of the reference material and st andard sources

The aim of this task is to develop st andardised traceable methods for activity measurement of the natural radionuclides selected in Task 1.1 and to st andardise the reference materials and st andard sources developed in Task 1.2 and 1.3.

New st andardised traceable methods will be developed for activity of natural radionuclides measurement with uncertainty up to 3 % (k = 1).

Task 2.1: Development of an in-situ measurement system

The aim of this task is to develop measurement system(s) to improve the determination of radioactive content of raw material, waste materials and by products in-situ. The analysis of samples from the mineral, oil, steel and building industries at remote expert labs introduces waste storage costs and delays. As an example, the accurate assay of NORM contaminated material using portal monitors in the re-cycling industry is a c andidate innovation in this work package and would lead to considerable cost saving. The introduction of innovative measurement techniques would enable the reduction of these costs and aid the profitability of NORM industries. The JRP will utilise the novel in-situ alpha-spectrometry prototype equipment and data analysis computer codes developed at STUK. A h and-held instrument operating at ambient air pressure will be built and integrated in to the remote expert support system. This enables rapid distribution of data to a remote location for expert spectrum analysis. Spectrum analysis tools will be developed to reduce α attenuation effects and a nonlinear energy calibration. Initial tests of the equipment, tools and procedures will be performed in the laboratory, with subsequent on-site testing in WP5.

Potential use of equipment from other industry sectors for use within NORM industries (e.g. portable γ-spec, food radiation monitors, robotic mounted measurement devices, demonstration equipment for decontamination) will also be considered and c andidate technologies selected for further development. The development and testing of a completely new measurement system prototype based on pixel detectors (MEDIPIX/TIMEPIX detector) suitable for in-situ measurements will be performed lead by REG(SURO). A method for the determination of the total activity of inhomogeneous NORM waste developed in WP3 will be validated. Evaluation of the minimum detection limits achievable with c andidate instruments or methods will be performed to ensure these will be fit for purpose.

This task will lead to 3 prototype system(s) for testing in WP5; a h and-held in situ prototype developed by NPL/ENEA; a in situ h and-held alpha spectrometer developed by STUK and a prototype based on a MEDIPIX/TIMEPIX detector developed by REG(SURO). It is intended that these systems will be suitable for operation in the NORM industrial measurement environment.

Task 2.2: Development of a sampling device for laboratory analysis

The aim of this task is to develop a preparation technique suitable for use with raw material, waste material or by product samples from diverse NORM industries. The technique (including an operation guide) developed will be suitable for use in a basic laboratory environment by a semi-skilled operative to enable sample analysis on site at NORM industrial plant.

NORM samples from a variety of industries require initial preparation prior to radioactive assay. Sample preparation techniques will be investigated to determine common stages in preparation. An initial sample preparation procedure to meet the specific requirements of particular NORM industries will then be developed as inputs in to the final preparation stage. The automation of this process to enable preparation and analysis to be performed in a basic laboratory environment will be undertaken.

Task 2.3: 220Rn (thoron)

For industries engaged in the processing of NORM, the exposure pathways for workers and the public, that are most likely to require consideration are those involving external exposure to gamma radiation emitted from bulk quantities of process material and internal exposure via the inhalation of radionuclides in dust. Internal exposure via the inhalation of 220Rn and its progeny emitted from process material need to be considered during the exploitation of minerals containing relatively high concentrations of thorium such as monazite and xenotime, particularly where fine grained residues and/or enhanced radium levels are present and the ventilation is poor.

The measurement of thoron in breath is generally regarded as the most sensitive of the various bioassay techniques available for determining thorium intake. The thoron contained in exhaled breath is used as a measure of the 224Ra, and hence the 232Th contained in the lung.

The aim of this task is to create 220Rn st andards and calibration devices for 220Rn activity in order to assure the traceability of the measurement chain. Both ENEA and CEA will create a 220Rn st andard with associated equipment for calibration of 220Rn measuring instruments.

Task 3.1: Identification and development of NORM-RN key-measurement methods

The aim of this task is the identification and evaluation of measurement procedures used in the European NORM industry followed by testing and comparing methods for key processes including new developments. The evaluation will focus on searching for synergistic effects in order to form a ‘best practice’ methods for radioactivity measurements for laboratory analysis and in-situ measurements on industrial sites. Identification of methods with a likely major impact on the European NORM industry will be given priority over those with less likelihood of impact. Focus will also be given to identifying new and innovative methods e.g. the in-situ alpha spectrometry method in Tasks 2.1 and 3.3.

Task 3.2: St andardisation of measurement procedures for laboratory analysis

The aim of this task is to harmonise measurement procedures used for laboratory analysis. The work will be carried out with a view to creating synergy effects and consolidating best practice from a broad spectrum of industries.

Task 3.3: St andardisation of measurement procedures for in-situ measurements on industrial sites

The aim of this task is to harmonise in-situ measurement procedures performed in the European NORM industry and to bring in new and innovative methods. The work will be carried out with a view to creating synergy effects and consolidating the best practice from a broad spectrum of industries. One new and innovative method that will be described is in-situ alpha spectrometry of smooth surfaces without radiochemical sample processing. Principles of the method were recently published and it is anticipated that the method will be among the key on-site detection methods in the near future. Furthermore, special attention will be given to procedures for radon measurements in the water industry and from building materials seeing its big impact all over Europe. A new and innovative method for measurements of inhomogeneously distributed activities in waste drums will be developed.

Task 4.1: Improvements of emission intensities in 238U series

The aim of this task is to improve the quality of available data for important alpha, gamma or X-ray emission intensities in the decay of nuclides of the 238U decay chain i.e. 226Ra and 210Pb.

The alpha emission intensities in the 226Ra decay have only been measured twice in the past and the results were discrepant from each other, with the values derived from the decay scheme balance. Therefore, new measurements are needed. In addition, the absolute intensities of the L X-rays emitted from 210Pb can be calculated from the decay parameters but the resulting values disagree with the two sets of values measured so far. Moreover it should be noted that the measured results are not self-consistent. Further X-ray measurements would assist in determining the origin of these discrepancies. Measurements of the 46 keV gamma-ray are also needed since this is the only gamma-ray arising from this decay and its intensity is used as the reference line, in gamma spectrometry, to determine the amount of this nuclide. Such determinations currently assume the measurement of the 210Pb activity by using an absolute (in terms of metrology) method.

Task 4.2: Improvements of emission intensities in the 235U series

The aim of this task is to measure the 185.7 keV gamma intensity in the decay of 235U, which complicates the determination of the amount of 226Ra in a sample, and to improve the knowledge of the lower part of the series.

The 185.7 keV gamma-ray in the 235U decay overlaps with the 186.2 keV gamma-ray of the 226Ra decay. New measurements of the main gamma-ray intensities in the upper part (235U → 231Pa) are required to improve the decay data. Such determinations suppose the measurement of the 235U activity by using an absolute (in term of metrology) method. The lower part of the chain (227Ac → 207Pb) exhibits many inconsistencies with a large number of emissions, therefore more accurate measurements would provide confidence in the derived decay schemes. Moreover, the relative contributions to the inhalation dose from the 235U decay series are mainly due to 227Ac and daughters; these two points demonstrate the need for decay data measurements, at least of the gamma-ray intensities.

Task 4.3: Study of 138La decay

Lanthanum-based scintillators are radiation detectors attracting great interest in various applications due to their good energy resolution (FWHM~20 keV at 662 keV) at ambient temperature; hence they have rapidly been made commercially available. However, they suffer significantly from intrinsic radioactivity which has two origins: the presence of the naturally occurring isotope 138La and contamination due to 227Ac and its daughters. 227Ac is a member of the natural 235U decay series and is a lanthanum chemical homologue. Recent improvements in the purification techniques have been made and in recently made lanthanum scintillators the 138La activity dominates. Recent studies highlight the importance of this intrinsic activity which, in the one h and, poses a serious limit for their use in low level measurement techniques but, in the other h and, could be used as a radioactive source to provide absolute detection efficiency of the scintillator.

Therefore the aim of this task is to increase the knowledge of the intensities of the photons and electrons emitted in the 138La decay scheme.

Task 4.4: Study of particular problems appearing in NORM key-materials

The aim of this task is to analyse the difficulties which arise in the measurement of NORM samples and to propose new actions in addition to those defined in the other Tasks.

Interference often occurs when analysing a gamma- and X-ray spectrum from a NORM sample. This interference can be due to overlapping gamma-rays, or X-rays in coincidence. This problem is usually circumvented by including a number of correction factors which depend on the proportions of the different radionuclides in a particular NORM material. JRP will study such spectral interferences for four to six NORM materials.

Task 5.1: Specification of verification criteria and procedures

The aim of this task is to specify verification criteria for measurement procedures and measurement devices developed in his JRP and to select end user sites for verification.

Task 5.2: On-site / in-situ verification of measurement systems and procedures

The aim of this task is to perform experimental verification of the measurement procedures and devices developed in this JRP in an industrial environment according to the verification procedures specified in Task 5.1.

Task 6.1 Knowledge Transfer

Advisory Board

A JRP Advisory Board for the JRP-Consortium will be set-up from stakeholders and collaborators. The JRP Advisory Board will provide advice and help to direct the work in the JRP. At least two meetings of the JRP Advisory Board are proposed during the JRP, as well as regular consultation via the website and electronic updates. Virtual meetings will also be organised when required. Members of the board will form an important route for knowledge transfer and dissemination. Membership is expected to grow during the course of the project and will involve regulators, policy makers, NORM industry and measurement instrument producers, European/international and national radiation protection authorities, metrological bodies and scientific associations.

Publications

At least 12 publications will be submitted to peer-reviewed scientific journals during the course of the JRP. At least 3 press releases will also be published to increase dissemination.

Conference Presentations

JRP-Partners will deliver at least 10 presentations at leading international conferences during the course of the JRP. Manuscripts will be submitted for inclusion in the conference proceedings.

JRP website

A JRP website will be set-up and maintained by CMI. The website will be updated every 3 months. It will contain an integrated database of JRP results, which will be accessible to registered users such as manufacturers, assay developers and policy makers. It will also host all the reports, protocols, procedures and presentations that are developed throughout the JRP in a registered area.

St andards, Committees and EC Directives

Information on JRP progress and results will be disseminated to a range of st andards bodies and committees and feedback sought.

Input to at least 6 Working Groups of St andards Committees related to JRP activities will be provided by JRP-Partners in order to disseminate the JRP results. Written reports will be submitted for consideration by WG members.

Further on-going work of national and international st andardisation committees will be reviewed to identify the st andards under development related to the JRP activities and input provided. New work items or revision of existing st andards will be proposed based on JRP Guidelines and findings.

Good Practice Guides and Procedures

The new traceable methods developed by the JRP will be disseminated in order to facilitate best practice amongst all JRP-Partners, the end user communities addressed above and other European NMIs. Dissemination to end users will be done through the JRP website.

Task 6.2 Training and Dissemination

The aim of this task is to perform training activities for the JRP-Partners and external users and stakeholders. Training courses, secondments and short technical visits will be arranged.

Workshops

Planning, organisation and provision of 4 specialised workshops will be aimed at the NORM industries and outside the General Project Meetings. The aim of these workshops will be to create awareness among users and stakeholders, get feedback at the beginning and during the JRP and to present and discuss specific problems and results arising from the work of the JRP. The workshops serve primarily as information exchange platform between JRP-Partners, stakeholders, including the JRP Advisory Board and end-users.

Training

A training course is planned to disseminate JRP results to end users. This course will comprise of an introduction into analytical methods as well as training in the use of the protocols and procedures developed by the JRP.

Secondments

Short technical visits of scientists between JRP-Participants will be organised in order to facilitate training and knowledge transfer between JRP-Partners. At least 3 short-term technical visits of JRP-Partner scientists to other JRP-Partners are planned.

Task 6.3 Exploitation

The knowledge generated will consist of two different types: open knowledge that any interested party will have access to and benefit from and which will be disseminated freely; and specific knowledge developed by JRP-Participants.

The IP outputs of the JRP will be available to JRP-Partners, and will be agreed as part of the JRP-Consortium Agreement. The potential for commercialisation of results will be carefully investigated and an exploitation plan will be produced by the JRP-Consortium at the Kick-off Meeting. Other activities will include:

·         Exploitation of the results by the licensing of measurement methods for in-situ monitoring of NORM material.

·         Generation of commercial interest in prototype techniques or methods developed within the JRP.

Task 7.1: JRP and REG management

The JRP-Coordinator, Franz Josef Maringer, acting as the representative of the BEV/PTP and the Project Management Board, will be the reference point for the project for both the JRP-Partners and EURAMET. The JRP-Coordinator will have an assistant who help him with administrative work and meeting organisation.

The Work package leaders will manage their work packages and will be responsible for all scientific and technical objectives and deliverables fulfilment.

The Contact persons as representatives of the JRP-Partners will lead particular Tasks and cooperate with their WP leader to ensure that the planned work will be fully accomplished according to the project timescale.

The Project Management Board (PMB) makes final decisions during project realisation and will consist of the JRP-Coordinator and the WP leaders. Other experts can be included in the Board if needed. The PMB is led by the JRP-Coordinator

Task 7.2: Project meetings

The aim of this task is for the JRP-Participants to discuss and agree the progress of the JRP, including work that has been completed and planned future work, so that decisions can be made about future tasks ensuring that all JRP-Participants are aware of what is required from them.

Task 7.3: Reporting

Formal reporting will be in line with EURAMET requirements and timescales. All reports will be submitted in accordance with the JRP Reporting Guidelines.

Each WP leader will provide a summary of the status of their WP showing progress against the original schedule, indicating, if appropriate, where corrective actions may be necessary. Periodic reports will be will be compiled and prepared by the JRP-Coordinator, based on input from all JRP-Partners and RGs. These reports will include a detailed summary of the results achieved, the problems encountered and the solutions found, plus the impact and dissemination activities carried out.