Radiological characterisation in view of nuclear reactor decommissioning: On-site benchmarking exercise of a biological shield

Margarita Herranz, Sven Boden, Péter Völgyesi, Raquel Idoeta, Wouter Broeckx, Jesus Ruiz González, Polina Otiougova, Axel Klix, Lou Sai Leong, Zoltán Hlavathy, István Almási, Khalil Amgarou, Marielle Crozet, Fernando Legarda

Research outputpeer-review


Nearly all decommissioning and dismantling (D&D) projects are steered by the characterisation of the plant being dismantled. This radiological characterisation is a complex process that is updated and modified during the course of the D&D. One of the tools for carrying out this characterisation is the performance of in-situ measurements. There is a wide variety of equipment and methodologies used to carry out on-site measurements, depending on the environment in which they are to be carried out and also on the specific objectives of the measurements and the financial and personnel resources available. The extent to which measurements carried out with different types of equipment or methodologies providing comparable results can be crucial in view of the D&D strategy development and the decision-making process. This paper concerns an on-site benchmarking exercise carried out at the activated biological shield of Belgian Reactor 3 (BR3). This activity allows comparison and validation of characterisation methodologies and different equipment used as well as future interpretation of final results in terms of uncertainties and sensitivities. This paper describes the measurements and results from the analysis of this exercise. Other aspects of this exercise will be reported in separate papers. This paper provides an overview of the on-site benchmarking exercise, outlines the participating organisations and the measurement equipment used for total gamma, dose rate and gamma spectrometry measurements and finally, results obtained and their interpretations are discussed for each type of measurement as a function of detector type. Regarding the dose measurements, results obtained by using a large variety of equipment are very consistent. In view of mapping the inner surface of the biological shield the most appropriate equipment tested might be the organic scintillator, the BGO or even the ionisation chamber. In addition, for mapping this surface, the most appropriate total gamma equipment tested might be the LaBr3(Ce), the thick organic scintillator or the BGO. These measurements can only be used as a secondary parameter in a relative way. Results for the gamma spectrometry are very consistent for all the equipment used and the main parameters to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103740
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021

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