International Exercises to Test Radiation Monitoring Technique Held in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone
Radiation protection and emergency response experts of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection and the Federal Police of Germany, crews of mobile laboratories of the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (SSTC NRS), Ecocenter, Rivne NPP, and Energoatom Emergency and Technical Center took part in the exercises.
CEZ radiation monitoring included gamma survey walkdown and determination of soil contamination density (in-situ), soil sampling, and aerogram mapping. The major part of the contamination distribution measurements in the entire 30-km zone was performed with the use of a drone and two helicopters.
The participants who performed the field measurements were divided into four teams. Each team measured the exposure dose rate at a specific point, performed in-situ gamma spectrometry to qualitatively and quantitatively determine the contamination density of the near-surface soil layer, and took 15 cm soil samples to find the in-depth distribution of radionuclides, in particular, Cs-137. The soil samples were transferred for spectrometric analysis to the Ecocenter Central Analytical Laboratory.
During the exercises, current airmobile radiation reconnaissance techniques and skills in using portable and onboard equipment were mastered and transmission channels and compatibility of measurement results, behavioral culture in actual radiological conditions, and interaction procedures in response to nuclear and radiation emergencies were tested.
The expected outcome of the exercises was a map of specific radioactively contaminated sites, as well as the entire Exclusion Zone, updated using radiation mapping systems installed at helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, which will promote a European-level tool for management of radioactively contaminated territories both in the region and Ukraine as a whole.