Improved Assessment of Initial Alarms from Radiation Detection Instruments

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code

J02005

CRP

2091

Approved Date

9 October 2014

Status

4 - Closed

Start Date

9 December 2015

Expected End Date

8 December 2019

Completed Date

19 November 2020

Participating Countries

Albania
Australia
Bangladesh
Cambodia
China
Djibouti
Georgia
Ghana
Jordan
Madagascar
Malaysia
Morocco
Pakistan
Philippines
Republic of Korea
Russian Federation
Sri Lanka
Thailand
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United Republic of Tanzania
Viet Nam

Description

With literally millions of vehicles and people crossing borders everyday, the use of Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) has become a critical tool for detecting the unauthorized transboundary movement of nuclear and other radioactive materials. The proper assessment of radiation alarms from the RPMs is an essential part of the effort to combat the global problems associated with these unauthorized movements.  Coordinated research and development is needed, and will be conducted in this CRP, to provide peer reviewed and validated methodologies and guidelines for assessing radiation alarms and providing confidence that nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control is detected and credible response actions initiated.  The CRP scope includes the establishment of a database of materials that cause radiation alarms and the development of a software tool that provides analysis of alarms to improve the decision process for determining whether an alarm is innocent or suspicious, i.e., may contain nuclear or other radioactive materials out of regulatory control.   

Specific objectives

1. Obtain information on radiation alarms (from declared radioactive material shipments and all NORM and other shipments or occupancies of portal monitors) including the physical characteristic of the commodity, the conveyance with the commodity, and the radiation detector data for thatcommodity. This compilation will be used by the software tool developed in (3).2. Form a baseline with recommendations on radiation counting times and instrument choice to draw better conclusions and support an assessment of the radiation alarm.3. Develop a software tool that should not require any technological or infrastructural changes on the existing radiation detection systems but simply act as an overlay that will support FLO assessments of radiation alarms.

Impact

The CRP was an excellent capacity building project and greatly enhanced the participants depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in the evaluation of RPM alarms and RPM operation. No single member state would have been be able to conduct the overall scope of research with the myriad commodities and equipment provided by the sum of contributor CRP Member States. Measurable impacts of the CRP can be demonstrated, for example, by the improvement in efficiency, effectiveness, and coordination in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka. In Port of Colombo, the CRP activities resulted in a 33% reduction in the time and effort to assess radiation alarms. This reduction in effort was equivalent to three man-years of labor each year just on the part of Customs officers that were re-assigned to other duties. Participation in the CRP also provided benefits, such as, developing a strong network with officials from other countries with similar interests to share research and best practices. The mobile application and its commodity catalogue and software tool support FLOs in their assessment of initial alarms and improves trainings. The Performing the research also strengthened cooperation between regulatory bodies, technical support organizations, Customs, and other related agencies. Contributing Member States provide the necessary peer review and methodology validation to ensure guidelines and tools for assessing radiation detection equipment alarms provide FLOs with the confidence that nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control is detected and appropriate response actions initiated.

Relevance

The project is of great relevance and value to the Member States. There are hundreds of thousands of alarms per year on the more than 10,000 radiation portal monitors installed around the world. With over 99% of the alarms caused by naturally occurring radioactive materials, front line officers and supporting agencies/experts need a tool to more effectively and efficiently evaluate alarms to focus limited resources on suspicious ones. The CRP investigated solutions to the alarm assessment problem and has produced great results - results that led to the development of tools used by the Member States because they were part of the development of the solution. TRACE has been downloaded and installed more than 13,000 times by users from 158 countries. The TRACE App is also available in all official IAEA languages as well as Georgian, Korean, and Turkish. Many countries and international organizations such as the WCO have incorporated TRACE into their standard operating procedures for alarm response and front line officer training. As the tool continues to be maintained and improved, the expected use of TRACE and other CRP outputs will grow and have even greater relevance to enhanceMember State nuclear security efforts.

CRP Publications

Type

Conference Oral Presentation

Year

2020

Description

Nirasha Rathnaweera, "Effective Opportunities for Gender Equality, Career Advancement, and Knowledge Building: Serving as a Chief Scientific Investigator", International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, Vienna, Austria, 10-14 February 2020

Country/Organization

Sri Lanka / Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board

Type

Symposium Paper

Year

2019

Description

D. Prifti, C. Massey, E. Bylyku, B. Daci, Kozeta Tushe, "Challenges in Applying Safety and Security Issues in NORM Alarms Assessment in Sea Ports and Land Border Points in Albania.", The Ninth International Symposium on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM IX) (organized in cooperation with the IAEA), Denver, Colorado, USA, 23-27 September 2019

Country/Organization

Albania / Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics

Type

Conference Paper

Year

2019

Description

D. Prifti, C. Massey, E. Bylyku, B. Daci, K. Tushe, “Safety and Security Interface of RPMs use to Broaden Radiological Protection in Albania”, • International Conference RICOMET 2019 in the period 1-3 July 2019, and post-conference General Assembly of the SHARE Platform 4-5 July 2019 in Spain, ISGlobal Barcelona, Institute for Global Health

Country/Organization

Albania / Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics

Type

Conference Poster

Year

2020

Description

Elida Bylyku, Dritan Prifti, Charles Massey, Brunilda Daci, Kozeta Tushe, “Building Capacity in Member States through Coordinated Research Activities – Increased understanding and performance in nuclear security in Albania”, International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, Vienna, Austria, 10-14 February 2020

Country/Organization

Albania / Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics

Type

Symposium Paper

Year

2019

Description

I. U. W. Liyanage, P. N. G. Rathnaweera, C. Massey, K. M. N. P. Silva, "Challenges in Applying Safety and Security Measures in NORM Alarm Assessments in Colombo, Sri Lanka Seaport", The Ninth International Symposium on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM IX) (organized in cooperation with the IAEA), Denver, Colorado, USA, 23-27 September 2019

Country/Organization

Sri Lanka / Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board

Type

Journal Paper

Year

2020

Description

Hobbs, Christopher & McBurney, Peter & Oliver, Dominic. (2020). Data Science in Support of Radiation Detection for Border Monitoring: An Exploratory Study. Science & Global Security. 28. 1-20. 10.1080/08929882.2020.1716461.

Country/Organization

United Kingdom / Kings College, London

Type

Technical Meeting Oral Presentation

Year

2018

Description

Nirasha Rathnaweera, “Involvement of Sri Lanka for CRP on Improved Assessment of Initial Alarms from Radiation Detection Instruments (J02005)”, Second Technical Meeting on Radiation Detection Instruments for Nuclear Security: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities, Vienna, Austria, 16-20 April 2018

Country/Organization

Sri Lanka / Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board

Type

Conference Oral Presentation

Year

2020

Description

Sovath Seng, “Cambodia's Participation in Coordinated Research Project (CRP)”, International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, Vienna, Austria, 10-14 February 2020

Country/Organization

Cambodia / General Department of Customs and Excise

Type

Technical Meeting Oral Presentation

Year

2018

Description

Oro Lay, “Cambodia Activities: Improving Alarm Assessment”, Second Technical Meeting on Radiation Detection Instruments for Nuclear Security: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities, Vienna, Austria, 16-20 April 2018

Country/Organization

Cambodia / General Department of Customs and Excise

Type

Symposium Paper

Year

2019

Description

Y. Hao, K. Chaisan, C. Iamsumang, "NORM Transport and Safety Challenges and Opportunities – The Thai Perspective", The Ninth International Symposium on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM IX) (organized in cooperation with the IAEA), Denver, Colorado, USA, 23-27 September 2019

Country/Organization

Thailand / Laem Chabang Port Customs Bureau

Type

Symposium Paper

Year

2019

Description

C. Massey , “IAEA: The Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security Interface on NORM Transport: Experience, Challenges and Opportunities”, The Ninth International Symposium on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM IX) (organized in cooperation with the IAEA), Denver, Colorado, USA, 23-27 September 2019

Country/Organization

International Atomic Energy Agency

Type

Conference Poster

Year

2020

Description

Changjie yang, Yeliang han, Qi liu, Suyang fan, “Alarm data research of Vehicle Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM)”, International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, Vienna, Austria, 10-14 February 2020

Country/Organization

China / State Nuclear Security Technology Center (SNSTC)

Type

Conference Oral Presentation

Year

2020

Description

Nguyen Ninh Giang, “An overview of Vietnam's research activities on emerging technologies for Nuclear Security in the digital age: current opportunities, future outlook and the IAEA support”, International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, Vienna, Austria, 10-14 February 2020

Country/Organization

Vietnam / Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS)

Type

Technical Meeting Oral Presentation

Year

2018

Description

Sergey Chuvaev, “Selected CRP Activities (Detection Algorithms)”, Second Technical Meeting on Radiation Detection Instruments for Nuclear Security: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities, Vienna, Austria, 16-20 April 2018

Country/Organization

Russian Federation / State Atomic Energy Corporation, Scientific Engineering Centre

Type

Conference Paper

Year

2018

Description

R. Ranasinghe, P. Mahakumara, P. Rathnaweera, I. Liyanage, C. Massey, “Identification of Effective Parameters and Their Relations for Normalization of Radiation Profiles from Radiation Portal Monitors for Initial Alarm Assessment at The Ports of Entry”, International Conference on the Security of Radioactive Material, Vienna, Austria, 3-7 December 2018

Country/Organization

Sri Lanka / Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board

Type

Symposium Paper

Year

2019

Description

J.L.R. Zafimanjato, N. Zafimanjato, C. Massey, "The Safety-Security Interface in Madagascar: Experience, Challenges, and Opportunities with Transport of NORM", The Ninth International Symposium on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM IX) (organized in cooperation with the IAEA), Denver, Colorado, USA, 23-27 September 2019

Country/Organization

Madagascar / National Institute for Nuclear Sciences and Techniques (INSTN)

Type

Conference Poster

Year

2020

Description

Dritan Prifti, Elida Bylyku, Brunilda Daci, Kozeta Tushe, “Coordinated Response and Practical Aspects to Nuclear Security Events in Albania”, International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, Vienna, Austria, 10-14 February 2020

Country/Organization

Albania / Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics

Type

Conference Oral Presentation

Year

2020

Description

P. N. G. RATHNAWEERA, P. D. MAHAKUMARA, R. A. N. C. RANASINGHE , I. U. W. LIYANAGE , C. MASSEY, C. IAMSUMANG, “Enhancing Sustainable Nuclear Security Operations through Participation in the Coordinated Research Project on Improved Assessment of Initial Alarms”, International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, Vienna, Austria, 10-14 February 2020

Country/Organization

Sri Lanka / Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board

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