Details of submitter
EMRP Call 2010 – Industry & Environment
Topic number: SRT-13i
Title: Ionising radiation metrology for metallurgical industry
Foundries produce millions tons of steel a year that could potentially be contaminated by melting
radioactive sources hidden in scraps. This can result in contamination of cast metal, furnaces, the
environment and the irradiation of the population. Current radio-assay controls do not guarantee
appropriate traceability and there is a need for harmonised European action to develop new
instruments, reference materials, technical procedures and standards for SI-traceable radioactivity
monitoring of scrap, slag, gaseous leaks and steel casting, to prevent this contamination. Joint
Research Projects (JRPs) submitted for this topic should aim at developing specific instruments,
methods and references for addressing this metrological need.
Conformity with the Work Programme
This call for JRPs conforms to the EMRP 2008, section on focused single discipline and applied metrology related to Industry on page 29 and Grand Challenge Environment (sustainable use of resources and improved quality of life) on page 24.
Metallurgy, Foundry, Steel casting, Radioactive contamination, Reference materials, Measurement procedures, Technical standards.
Background to the Metrological Challenges
Foundry industries frequently recycle metal scrap loads that have been previously tested for
unadvertised presence of orphan radioactive sources by passing scrap containers under radiation
detection portals. However, self-shielding of sources or the attenuation by other scrap pieces in the
container make that approach less than 100 % reliable and it can result in furnace damage,
radioactive contamination of cast steel, consequent trade disputes, or even dissemination of
radioactivity into the environment. This can then lead to irradiation of end users from cast steel
products contaminated by radionuclides like 60Co or 192Ir arising from radiotherapy or gammagraphy
sources, trade disputes about the contamination of products, and financial impact on market prices.
To mitigate this risk, controls are still necessary to guarantee and certify the absence of radioactive
contamination in gaseous discharges, slag wastes and cast steel batches. Although several gamma
detection systems are available to monitor the steel production batches, they differ in geometry,
energy resolution sensitivity and throughput, and the reference standards for these systems are either
missing (replaced by mathematical modelling) or lack traceability to the SI, making the comparison of
results between companies inaccurate and subject to disputes and claims. Differences between
national regulations and the lack of a harmonised international standard also contribute to this
undesirable situation. Scientific and Technological Objectives
Proposers should address the objectives stated below, which are based on the PRT submissions. Proposers may identify amendments to the objectives or choose to address a subset of them, in order to maximise the overall impact, or address budgetary or scientific / technical constraints, but the reasons for this should be clearly stated in the JRP-protocol.
The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union
The focus of this SRT is to develop harmonised metrological tools and methods addressing radioactive contamination in metallurgical products and waste.
1. Design of overall standardised traceable measurement method for control/measurement of scrap,
metal products, slag and gaseous discharges according to the EC, national regulations and to NEA and IAEA recommendations.
2. Development of standard reference sources for cast steel and slag at the contamination threshold
a. potential contaminant radionuclides (60Co, 137Cs, 192Ir, 226Ra, …), b. different steel compositions, c. different sample geometries suitable for on-line measurements.
3. Characterisation of reference sources by combined measurement-simulation methods and
4. Development of reference measurement system(s) (NaI, HPGe, plastic scintillation detectors, …).
5. Development of technical procedures for calibration of measurement systems and on-line
6. Development of measurement, evaluation, calibration and control software.
Proposers shall give priority to work that meets documented industrial needs and that which supports transfer into industry e.g. by cooperation and/or by standardisation.
Proposers should establish the current state of the art, and explain how their proposed project goes beyond this.
Proposals must demonstrate adequate and appropriate participation/links to the “end user”
community. This may be through the inclusion of unfunded JRP partners or collaborators, or by
including links to industrial/policy advisory committees, standards committees or other bodies.
Evidence of support from the “end user” community (e.g. letters) is encouraged.
Where a European Directive is referenced in the proposal, the relevant paragraphs of the Directive
identifying the need for the project should be quoted and referenced. It is not sufficient to quote the
entire Directive per se as the rationale for the metrology need. Proposals must also clearly link the
identified need in the Directive with the expected outputs from the project.
You should detail the impacts of your proposed JRP as detailed in the document “Guidance for writing a JRP”.
You should detail how your JRP results are going to:
• Feed into the development of urgent standards through appropriate standards bodies • Interact with the regulatory community • Collaborate with detection system manufacturers • Transfer knowledge to the steel industry
You should also detail how your approach to realising the objectives will further the aim of the EMRP to develop a coherent approach at the European level in the field of metrology. Specifically the opportunities for:
improvement of the efficiency of use of available resources to better meet metrological needs and to assure the traceability of national standards
- the metrology capacity of Member States and countries associated with the Seventh
Framework Programme whose metrology programmes are at an early stage of development to be increased
outside researchers & research organisations other than NMIs and DIs to be involved in the work
EMRP Call 2010 – Industry & Environment
The project should be of 3 years duration.
The references were provided by PRT submitters; proposers should therefore establish the relevance of any references.
1. Council Directive 96/29/EURATOM (1996) of 13 May 1996 laying down basic safety standards for
the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiation.
2. Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008
concerning integrated pollution prevention and control.
3. UNECE Releases Recommendations on Radioactive Scrap, United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe, ECE/TRANS/07/P01 (2007).
4. IAEA, Safety Guide “Management of waste from the Use of Radioactive Material in Medicine,
Industry, Agriculture, Research and Education”, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. WS-G-2.7 (2005).
5. “Reducing Risks in the Scrap Metal Industry”, IAEA (2005).
6. “Guia de Eguridad de actividades de recuperacion y reciclado de chatarras”, Consejo de
7. “Radiological impact on the UK Population of Industries. Part II: The Steel Production Industry”,
National Radiological Protection Board NRPB-W48 (2003).
8. International Conferences : “The Radioactivity in the Metal Scraps Recycling Industry”, Brescia
(1998), “Control and Management of Inadvertent Radioactive Material in Scrap Metal”, Tarragona (2009).
EMRP Call 2010 – Industry & Environment
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