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Artificial intelligence & virtual reality: How to enhance radiation protection of workers and the future of workplace safety

22 July 2020

Recording →

Moderator: Burçin Okyar (IAEA)

Presenters: Merce Ginjaume (Spain), István Szőke (Norway), Yury Verzilov (Canada), Roman Abutalipov (IAEA)

Date of broadcast: 22 July 2020, 4:00 PM CEST

About the webinar

Innovative technologies and tools in instrumentation, computing and information technology, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, are transforming the world as we know it. This is true for multiple applications of nuclear technology in medicine, electricity production, agriculture, and industry, but also for traditional approaches in workplaces and in a workforce in general.

These innovative applications can enhance radiation protection of workers with complex algorithms and software to emulate human cognition in the analysis, interpretation and comprehension of complicated work processes including radiation exposure. These are not only advanced tools for radiation protection, but also ways on how to improve health and safety in workplaces. Such technological transformation makes it possible to gather and analyse radiological data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes for the establishment of radiation protection programmes and its management together with other health and safety disciplines in compliance with the relevant requirements of the IAEA International Basic Safety Standards (GSR Part 3).

Research projects in pioneering approaches are key drivers for innovation. One of them is Personal Online Dosimetry Using Computational Methods (PODIUM), a research project to improve occupational dosimetry by an innovative approach in high dose applications, such as interventional cardiology. It targets development of an online dosimetry application based on computer simulations, which will calculate individually the occupational doses, without the use of physical dosimeters.

The use of specialized software to model workplaces and operations to be performed could provide an efficient support for the preparation phase as well as during the decommissioning and dismantling operations of the nuclear power plants. Optimization as well as protection of workers can be implemented based on software-based simulations which are useful for planning and training, however estimated dose rates should be used with care, and must be validated by measurements.

Such software and simulations offer assistance in effectively minimizing worker radiation dose during inspection and maintenance activities and, in improving optimization in  job planning in nuclear power plants by providing 3D virtual reality job simulations for radioactive environments around the reactor components and enables power plant workers to realistically gauge radiation dose without being exposed physically.

Learning objectives

Participants of the webinar will learn about:

  • Innovative new tools and techniques for utilization in workplaces and how it rolls into the radiation protection of workers and work planning.
  • Online dosimetry application based on the use of modern technology such as personal tracking systems, flexible individualized phantoms and scanning of geometry set-up with the aim is to perform personal dosimetry in real-time and new developments in Monte Carlo calculation of radiation transport for a better knowledge of individual radiation exposure.
  • State- of- the-art applications in visualization of work environments to provide planning options to reduce the worker’s dose and evaluation of the impact of working in different configurations and scenarios with associated training.

About the presenters

Merce Ginjaume

Mrs Ginjaume has a PhD in Physics from the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona. She is senior researcher of the Institute of Energy Techniques and the Research Center of Bioengineering at Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in Spain.

She is currently Head of the Calibration and Dosimetry Laboratory of UPC, Vice-chair of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) task group on the impact of the eye lens dose limits, Chair of the Dosimetry group of the Spanish Society of Radiation Protection and Voting member of EURADOS. Within EURADOS, she is presently a member of working group 12 on dosimetry in medical imaging.

She was President of the Spanish Society of Radiological Protection from 2015 to 2017 and Director of the Institute of Energy Techniques at UPC from 2005 to 2011.

Her main fields of interest are radiation metrology, dosimetry and radiological protection in health applications. She participated actively in the European projects PODIUM (2018-2019) and Optimization of Radiation protection for Medical staff (ORAMED) (2008-2011).

István Szőke

Mr Szőke’s academic and professional background and PhD are related to research and development into application of 3D radiological simulation based digital solutions for protection of humans and the environment from radiological hazards.

Currently, he is working at the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway, which is a non-profit research organisation leading the one of the longest nuclear programmes of the Nuclear Energy Agency, the OECD Halden Reactor Project. 

He is managing the Institute’s research programme into nuclear decommissioning, including the activities related to Institute’s designation by the International Atomic Energy Agency as the first International Collaborating Centre in the field of nuclear decommissioning.  This research programme has a primary focus on application of innovative, digitalisation and robotics based solutions for decommissioning and life-cycle management of nuclear facilities. 

Yury Verzilov

Mr Verzilov is the senior scientist at Kinectrics, Canada.  He has a PhD in Experimental Nuclear Physics and performed research projects related to the cold neutron source, fission and fusion reactors (CANDU, ITER).  At Kinectrics, Dr. Verzilov is responsible for projects related to the Source Term Monitoring at CANDU stations in Canada and Romania. He has extensive experience in a variety of scientific and engineering projects in the fields of nuclear engineering and physics.

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