An airborne gamma-ray spectrometry survey of nuclear sites in Belgium

Sanderson, D.C.W., Cresswell, A., Hardeman, F. and Debauche, A. (2004) An airborne gamma-ray spectrometry survey of nuclear sites in Belgium. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 72(1-2), 213 -224. (doi: 10.1016/S0265-931X(03)00204-2)

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As part of a wider study to define the existing background levels in Belgium an airborne gamma-ray survey was conducted in two areas associated with nuclear sites. In the Mol area, the survey zone included areas surrounding the SCK-CEN nuclear research centre, and its associated neighbourhood which includes radioactive waste stores, fuel manufacture and fabrication facilities and an international accelerator laboratory. In the vicinity of Fleurus, the survey included the IRE complex with radiochemical laboratories, irradiation facilities and stores, and isotope production accelerators. The survey was conducted using a twin engined helicopter equipped with a combined scintillation and semiconductor spectrometer. The system was installed and tested in the UK, and then transferred to Belgium for operations. The complete survey was conducted successfully within 1 week. The results provide a comprehensive record of the radiation environment of the nuclear sites at time of survey, and show a range of signals associated with the types of activity present in each area. They confirm that radiation fields are largely confined to the operational sites, and provide a traceable record against which future changes could be assessed. The demonstration of efficient deployment between two European countries, coupled with rapid mapping of many different radiometric signals around these sites confirms the utility of the airborne gamma spectrometry approach for accurate definition of enhanced radiation fields. This has important implications for emergency response.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sanderson, Professor David and Cresswell, Dr Alan
Authors: Sanderson, D.C.W., Cresswell, A., Hardeman, F., and Debauche, A.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

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