FT holds a PhD in Medical – Radiation Physics and worked for 10 y at NCSR Demokritos, Greece in the fields of Neutron Activation Analysis and Research Reactor Radiation protection. She worked for 3 y as post-doctoral researcher at EC-JRC-IRMM, Belgium in the field of radionuclide metrology and is currently employed at EC-JRC-ITU, Germany in the European Nuclear Security Training Centre (Eusectra).
In the coming years many old nuclear facilities will be decommissioned and are expected to generate large amounts of waste. It is of great importance that radioactive waste be minimized and managed safely to avoid impact on workers, the general public and environment. One important step towards this direction is having in place accurate and traceable radionuclide specific measurement techniques for waste characterization and free release.
Moreover currently, more than one half of the yearly steel production in the European Union comes from recycling of metal scrap. Radioactive ‘orphan’ sources may pass undetected through the radioactivity controls at the entrance of the metal works, and eventually be incorporated into the steel and/or its by-products. In order to minimize the radiation risk for workers, public and environment, samples of steel, slag and fume dust are monitored for radioactivity in the metallurgical foundries. Such measurements need to be harmonized and reliable.
Accurate radioactivity measurements in both fields require traceable radioactivity standards of good quality and appropriate sizes-matrices-radionuclide contents. In 2011 two joint research projects “Metrology for Radioactive Waste Management” and “Ionising Radiation Metrology for the Metallurgical Industry” were launched in the framework of EMRP (European Metrology Research Programme) organized by Euramet. In these projects several National Metrology Institutes and EC-JRC-IRMM worked together to develop methods for optimizing measurements of radioactive waste and radioactivity monitoring in metal works. As a result, among others, new specially designed radioactivity standards were developed. These included large volume calibration standards of specific matrices representing different types of waste as well as standards of cast steel, slag, and fume matching routine samples in metallurgy. The activity concentrations were, in many of above cases, determined based on interlaboratory comparisons coordinated by JRC.