News

EMPIR project develops new instrument trialled at nuclear plant

Rows of yellow barrels of radioactive waste

Project research enables improvements in the safe disposal of radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear sites

EMPIR project <link research-innovation search-research-projects details>‘In situ metrology for decommissioning nuclear facilities’ (16ENV09, MetroDecom II) is using results from two earlier EMRP projects to enable nuclear site operators to characterise waste material rapidly and accurately, throughout all stages of the disposal process, by providing validated techniques for measuring radioactivity on site, and segregating and monitoring waste.

The two earlier EMRP projects are:

  • <link research-innovation search-research-projects details>‘Metrology for radioactive waste management’ (ENV09, MetroRWM)
  • <link research-innovation search-research-projects details>‘Metrology for decommissioning nuclear facilities’ (ENV54, MetroDecom)

These two EMRP projects addressed the needs of the decommissioning process by the development and implementation of new radioactivity measurement techniques, instruments, calibration standards and reference materials.

The current EMPIR project aims to provide nuclear site operators with measurement techniques that can be used to measure radioactivity for planning decommissioning, for segregating and checking waste materials during demolition, and for monitoring the condition of waste packages in radioactive waste repositories.

As part of the projects, VTT MIKES, Finland's National Metrology Institute, has developed a novel instrument for measuring airborne radioactivity. It uses laser absorption spectroscopy to detect radiocarbon in the form of carbon dioxide.  It has been successfully trialled to monitor the radiocarbon stack emissions of the Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland. This shows that this new technology is able of providing on-line measurement of gaseous radioactive emissions, while traditionally used methods require manual off-line laboratory analysis.

The work of these projects will ensure that knowledge is transferred to regulators, the nuclear industry, instrument makers and standardisation bodies, thus supporting safer decommissioning of European nuclear facilities.

EMPIR projects are co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

EMRP joint research projects are part of EURAMET’s European Metrology Research Programme. The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.


Want to hear more about EURAMET?<link meta-menu subscribe-to-newsletter>
Sign up for EURAMET newsletters and other information
(You can select which information you would like to receive)

Select your area of interest
EMPIR project contributes to more accurate observations of ocean acidification
2024-04-18

Carbon dioxide, released from man-made activities, is lowering the pH of the Earth’s oceans, and impacting the health of marine organisms worldwide more

Partnership project helps improve the thermal comfort of public buildings in Rwanda and South Africa
2024-04-11

Working with external project Cool White to test and suggest improvements on the locally available white paints more

EMPIR project establishes new calibration capabilities and guide for Ultra-high voltage measurements
2024-04-10

The project FutureEnergy has provided new calibration services for ultra-high voltages and a good practice guide on Lightning Impulse dividers more

EMPIR project releases software and optical constants for the photonics industry
2024-04-08

For many of the 5000 photonics companies in Europe a precise knowledge of a material’s optical properties is vital for industrial competitiveness more

Page 1 of 226.