Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


TAWARA_RTM Report Summary

Project ID: 312713
Funded under: FP7-SECURITY
Country: Italy

Final Report Summary - TAWARA_RTM (TAp WAter RAdioactivity Real Time Monitor)

Executive Summary:
The main purpose of the TAWARA_RTM project is to create a platform for Water Treatment Plants to improve drinking water security against deliberate or accidental Radiological or Nuclear threats. Current national legislations on tap water in European countries foresee periodic controls, including radioactivity tests, performed in qualified laboratories. The typical timescale of such a controls, from the sample collection to the end, can be close to a full day, making difficult a continuous monitoring of the contaminant levels, especially in case of emergency situations.
The continuous monitoring is a crucial issue in case of sudden water contaminations as the nuclear disasters caused by natural events (heart quakes, tsunami, ...), human errors in the operations of nuclear power plants or voluntary actions (terroristic attacks, illegal release of toxic or radioactive materials...).
The TAWARA_RTM platform can provide a real time measurement of the gross alpha and beta radioactivity in water to verify whether the distributed water is within the limits set by the European legislation or is reaching a threshold value that requires rapid actions. In the latter case, a message is sent to the water plant management to verify the need of stopping the water distribution. At the same time, a second part of the system is activated, to determine the nature of the contamination by gamma ray spectroscopy. The definition of the nature of the contamination will help in finding the proper counter-measures. The detection system to measure alpha and beta activity in water has been developed using novel spectroscopic detectors based on scintillation technology. Moreover, since the legislation requires that the monitoring of the radioactivity shall be performed at the distribution point, an additional detection system is placed at the intake point to prevent possible important contamination of the Waterworks itself, as in the case of terroristic attack.
The TAWARA_RTM prototype makes use of state-of-art read-out electronic and computing tools that allows the automated management of the system. It includes a complete radioactivity detection system composed by the fast Real-Time Monitor system (RTM) for the continuous measurement of gross alpha and beta radioactivity, the Spectroscopic system (SPEC) for the nuclide identification in case of alarm, and the Early Alarm Detector (EAD), the gamma radioactivity monitor at the water intake. A dedicated Information and Communication System, designed to include in the future also chemical and biological sensors, provides an easy operation of the system.
The TAWARA_RTM prototype is currently installed at the North Water Treatment Plant of Warsaw managed by the Warsaw Waterworks Company (MPWiK). This site has been selected due to the proximity to the Polish National Nuclear Waste Storage site of one of the rivers that bring water to the plant. Another river filling to the water plant intake (the Bug river) is coming from the Chernobyl region. The system was successfully operated since June 2016 for the demonstration phase at the North Waterworks Plant. The end-user feedback collected during the demonstration phase allowed to improve several aspects of the ICT platform and to identify possible future developments for a positive exploitation of the foreground achieved with the project.
Moreover a number of dissemination actions, including scientific presentations at international conferences and exhibitions, production of brochures and other explanatory material, participation and organization of public workshops also linked to other EU-FP7 projects of the same call (SAFEWATER and ISIS) have been realized during the project and something more is planned for the next future. The aim of this activity is to inform the civil society, in particular the potential end-users and policy-makers, about the capabilities of this new instrument and the potential advantages for the Waterworks plants in the current configuration, or, going to some smaller-scale version (as an example, a mobile system for Waterworks RN water safety monitoring and emergency response) also in other contexts.

Project Context and Objectives:
The TAWARA_RTM project was planned over a period of 30 months. Due to some small delay, an extension to 33 months was granted during the second part of the project. The first phase (M1-M20) was devoted to the initial R&D period in which the TAWARA_RTM prototype components (hardware and software) were designed, constructed and tested. The second phase was devoted to the whole system integration and characterization and, finally, the demonstration.
The R&D work was guided by the preliminary study of the current legislation requirements and the end-user needs (WP1) that allowed to set the general constrains in order to obtain a significant improvement of the currently available commercial instrumentation within the expectations of the people that will use in future such novel system.
The staring points of the TAWARA_RTM project were the SCIONIX expertise on scintillation detector manufacturing, the digital read-out electronics from CAEN and the know-how characteristic of the Universities and Research Centers (UNIPD, UNIPI, NCBJ, ENEA) contributing to the TAWARA_RTM collaboration that were used to improve hardware and to develop software tools for the optimal usage of the detectors. Moreover legal and practical aspects in the field of application of the TAWARA_RTM prototype were covered by WIW and MPWIK.
In details the project objectives can be summarized in the following points:
• Definition of the detailed features of the instrument according with the current national and international legislations in matter of drinking water security and with the End-user needs (WP1).
• Characterization of the basic detector module of RTM, the large area 200x200mm2 single foil phoswich scintillator for gross alpha/beta radioactivity measurement (WP2-T2.2).
• Definition of the optimal read-out for the phoswich detectors to be used in the stack configuration proposed in the project in order to get a total large area (ant then a large efficiency) in a limited volume (WP2-T2.2).
• Design, development and realization of a new technology to protect the phoswich detector surface against damages due to long-term contact with water (WP2-T2.2).
• Design, production and test of the RTM detectors and mechanics to be integrated in the TAWARA_RTM prototype (WP2-T2.3-4-5).
• Definition of the best gamma scintillation detector and the Active Anti-Compton shield to be used in the SPEC system (WP3-T3.2-4).
• Design, production and test of the selected gamma detector (a high-purity low-background CeBr3 scintillator) for high-resolution gamma spectroscopy with Active Anti-Compton shield (WP3-T5-6-7-8).
• Design and realization of an efficient ion concentration system to increase the sensitivity of the prototype (WP3-T3.3).
• Design and production of the gamma detection system for early alarm (EAD) in case of significant radioactivity contamination at the water intake. This low-cost monitoring system, not foreseen in the original proposal, was introduced on the End-user’s suggestion following the discussions in WP1.
• Design and realization of the Front-End Electronics (power supply and read-out electronics) for the phoswich detectors and the gamma scintillators based on digital technology (WP4 and WP5).
• Design and realization of the software components needed to control the hardware system (detectors, front-end electronics and hydraulic system), acquire and analyze on-line the data and provide suitable aggregate information to the control room (WP6).
• Design and realization of an ICT infrastructure able to collect data from all sensitive nodes (the TAWARA_RTM prototype, but also other existing or future sensors in the Waterworks plant) to be handled by a user-friendly User Interface based on the end-user requirements (WP7).
• Integration of the 6 TAWARA_RTM components: the three detector systems (EAD, RTM and SPEC), the front-end electronics (including power supplies) the SCA system and the ICT infrastructure, to obtain the complete, functioning demonstrator prototype ready for characterization tests (WP8).
• Complete characterization of the TAWARA_RTM detector systems in laboratory conditions and final certification of the detector performances using calibrated radioactive aqueous solutions at the Italian Institute of Ionizing Radiation Metrology (WP9).
• Proof the usefulness of the whole setup in real conditions of Water Company operating in a big EU city. The prepared equipment and proposed procedures have been tested first by experts of the Consortium and later by personnel of the Warsaw Waterworks Company not directly involved in the project (WP10).
• Implementation of the project website and Definition of the Dissemination Plan and the transferability study (WP12).
It has to be mentioned that, according with the EC prescription at the time of proposal evaluation, no radioactive sources or any type of activated material have been used during the final demonstration inside the Warsaw Waterworks premises.

Project Results:
In this section we report the main S&T results and deviations for the different tasks in the active Work Packages.

WP1 - Requirements
WP1 aims at analyzing the needs in term of detection of radioactive and nuclear materials in water stated by European Union, national governments and other international organizations (WHO), to determine threshold values that require actions in the tap water distribution to the general public and to translate them into requirements: screening levels and detection limits; inspection times and background requirements; overall characteristic of the system to be realized and associated functional requirements; end user requirements for system hardware functionality, user interface and communication tools; possible mitigation strategies associated with a given type of radioactive material in the light of national and EU Legislation. The WP1 was scheduled from M=1 to M=3. All deliverables were submitted.
Task 1.1 – Definition of detection requirements – Completed
Results achieved: definition of required detection limits according with different national and international legislations. Identification of mitigation strategies in situations of risk. A list of sources and types of laboratory tests to be used in the instrument certification has been also defined.
Task 1.2 – Legislation Study – Completed
Results achieved: detailed overview of the EU legislation in matter of drinking water, including Drinking Water Directive at the time of the proposal and the more recent Directive 2013/51/EURATOM with identification of the recommended screening levels and detection limits. Comparative overview of legislations in Poland, Italy and USA. The results have been reported in D1.2 (Legislation Study Report).
Task 1.3 – Definition of technical specifications – Completed
Results achieved: a conceptual design of the hydraulic system, including water flow scheme and construction material specifications, was outlined. Moreover, the technical discussion evidenced the advantages of using a two-stages ion concentration system based on a reverse osmosis stage + an exchange-resin stage: by sending the ion-enriched water from the first stage to the RTM, the detection limit for alpha and beta radiation can be improved significantly. A short description of RTM and SPEC functionalities with basic detection requirements, the electronics, data analysis software and communication schemes were provided as well.
Task 1.4 – Definition of the End User needs – Completed
Results achieved: the final location for the demonstration phase was identified as the Model Station at Northern Waterworks Plant of MPWiK. Contribution to technical specifications defined in T1.3 (end-users point of view). The measuring time scales for an effective mitigation actions were exploited. The discussion about this last point has triggered the realization of the Early Alarm Detector (see the Highlights below).
Task 1.5 – Monitoring network requirements – Completed
Results achieved: requirements for the hardware and software interfaces were identified. Basic requirements for the ICT infrastructure in terms of functionalities and logic blocks were defined as well.
T1.6 – Report writing – Completed
Results achieved: The final deliverable D1.1 (Requirement Report), containing the outcome of all WP1 tasks (including a short version of the legislation study results, full results are reported in D1.2) was prepared and delivered on time at the end of M3. Moreover, this report was presented and discussed with the project Advisory Board during the first AB meeting (23/04/2014).
WP1 Highlights: the work package was successfully completed on time. Deliverable 1.1 was prepared in due time. Consequently the Milestone MS1: Requirements (All needed requirements defined and report available) was fulfilled. The analysis of the mitigation actions together with the end-users has triggered the proposal of realizing a simple gamma radiation monitor (EAD) to be placed at the raw water intake with the aim of protecting as much as possible the Waterworks infrastructures in case of a sudden strong contamination. Moreover the technical discussions in task 1.3 have suggested to realize a more efficient two-stages concentration system that can provide pre-concentrated water also to the RTM detector, providing the possibility to improve significantly the alpha and beta minimum detectable activity. More details are given in D1.1. The budget for this new hardware could be fitted in the assigned budget for consumables and the over-head.
WP1 Deviations: WP1 showed no deviation with respect to the project plan.
MS1 “Requirements definition” was fulfilled on time.

WP2 – Real Time Monitor (RTM)
WP2 aims at design, assembly and test the prototype of the Real Time Monitor (RTM) detector to measure continuously on site the gross alpha and beta activity in the water. It consists in three identical shielded chambers in which the activity is measured by using a stack of about 48 foils of plastic scintillator (about 200 x 200 x 0.5 mm3) with a surface thin deposits of ZnS:Ag to enhance the signals due to alpha particles (2 foils per basic detector module, 8 modules for each chamber). Such foils are commercially available (EJ-444) but a preliminary R&D study was needed to optimize the scintillation light read-out and to assure a homogeneous efficiency on the active area. The detector surface were water-protected and functionalized to protect them against damages due to long-term contact with water. The WP2 was scheduled from M=3 to M=20. All due deliverables have been submitted.
Task 2.1 – Conceptual design of the Real Time Monitor (RTM) – Completed
Results achieved: The conceptual design of the hydraulic system, including water flow scheme and construction material specifications, was outlined. The conceptual design for the detector module of the RTM system was defined, together with the definition of the readout scheme of the scintillator foil. A possible QA protocol for the detector module + readout has been proposed.
Task 2.2 – Testing of the scintillation detector single foil – Completed
Results achieved: The main achieved results are the definition of the read-out geometry of the full size (200x200mm2) detector using a 10mm WLS to maximize the light transmission to the corners and 2 PMTs in coincidence to remove electronic background, the definition of the data acquisition scheme using fast digitizers with FPGA capability and on-line/off-line pulse shape analysis to obtain the best beta/gamma discrimination; the measurement of the alpha/beta efficiency and homogeneity of the bare full size detector. An efficiency better than 90% for alpha (Po-210) and better than 90% for beta (Sr/Y-90) over the whole surface has been measured using 0.5 mm thick plastic scintillator layer. Moreover the measurement of alpha/beta single foil background was performed (6 mHz/35 Hz for the unshielded detector). Due to the good results obtained with traditional PMTs, the development of the read-out option with SiPM was considered not necessary and was abandoned. Moreover, as to the chemical and surface characterization studies of the scintillator foil, with the goal of optimizing at the same time the super-hydrophobic character of the surface and the scintillation efficiency, the results are the complete elemental analysis of the detector (EJ-444), both on the surface and on the active volume, the leaching and surface properties tests of the detector when exposed to water cycles and the definition of a surface functionalization procedure to provide a protective layer against water exposure damages. All the results are summarized in D2.2 “RTM single scintillator foil test results”.
Task 2.3 – RTM Mechanical design & construction – Completed
Results achieved: The design and production of the RTM detector chambers (3 similar units hosting 8 basic detection modules each) was performed by SCIONIX. The water sampling system and the lead shield was produced at the Department of Physics in Padova.
Task 2.4 – Prototype production and test – Completed
Results achieved: The procurement and QA acceptance phase tests of the detector components were performed at SCIONIX. The single scintillator foils were then transferred to Padova for the surface protection treatment and a second phase of QA. They were finally assembled and individually tested with standard radioactive sources in air.
Task 2.5 – RTM assembly and test – Completed
Results achieved: The basic detection modules tested under Task 2.4 were mounted in the mechanical frames prepared in the Task 2.3 (RTM unit no. 1, 2 and 3). The units were transferred to Padova for a set of preliminary tests including background rates in water and radioactivity measurements using NORM (uncalibrated sources).
WP2 Highlights: The first R&D phase of this work package activities proceeded as planned, and the results of the completed activities fulfilled the requirements of the system and the project expectations. Results on the single foil detector tests have been presented at the ANIMMA 2015 Conference ( and were later published on IEEE Trans. on Nucl. Sci., Vol. 63, No. 3, 2016, p. 1565. The second part, characterized by the production and test of the RTM prototype, suffered of some delays due to difficult in material procurement and some technical problem (see Deviations here below). The RTM units, assembled and tested, were finally delivered on time for the lab characterization at ENEA (WP9).
Deviations: The production of the RTM prototype was foreseen for M18 = end of May. Two main issues caused the RTM to be delivered at M23 = end of October 2015:
1) during spring 2015 we realized that in the delivery of the scintillator foils and the WLS light guides by the manufacturer Eljen Tech. was longer than expected. Moreover, contrary to a previous agreement with an Italian private company in Padova, the existing spray-coating machine for the surface treatment was no more available. We decided then to buy a new one (not charged to the project). The scintillators and WLSs arrived at SCIONIX end of May and the new spray-coating machine was fully operational at UNIPD since mid June. The first RTM unit was assembled at SCIONIX and sent to Padova for testing in August.
2) A large number of the scintillator foils we received at UNIPD for the surface treatment showed serious damaging on the ZnS(Ag) active layer. Only the best 20 ones, after surface treatment, were sent back to SCIONIX to build the first unit. Later a new bunch of scintillator foils was ordered by SCIONIC and sent to Padova. This time the detectors were good, but we decided to postpone the production of unit #2 and #3 after the (hopefully good) results of the tests ongoing on unit #1. RTM2 and RTM3 were produced in October then sent to Padova for testing. D2.4 was submitted at M24 (end of Nov.) with 4 months delay.
MS2 “Real Time Monitor” was then fulfilled with a delay of 4 months.
Despite these problems, the integration of RTM (WP8) could start regularly at M21 (in fact it started even before). The first unit (RTM1) was sent to ENEA in December 2015.

WP3 – Spectroscopy Detector (SPEC)
SPEC detector has been designed with aim to identify the isotopes detected in case the RTM system detects excess of radioactivity beyond threshold. Appropriate detection techniques were selected in order to achieve lowest possible MDA values for radioactive isotopes of interest, taking into account cost effectiveness and simplicity of technical assembly of the SPEC system. Extending the SPEC detector with an ion concentration device and an active and passive shields could increase the sensitivity of the SPEC system.
Task 3.1 – Conceptual design of spectroscopy detector (SPEC) – Completed
Results achieved: Preliminary analysis of detectors considered for use in the SPEC system was performed. Based on a comparison of basic features like light yield and its non-proportionality, energy resolution, gamma-ray detection efficiency and internal background, Ge detector and a set of scintillators, including NaI:Tl, LaBr3 and CeBr3, was selected for further tests. A chemical concentration system was proposed to acquire activity in front of the SPEC system upon alarm raised by the RTM system. The aim of this solution is to increase the amount of potential radioactivity in order to perform identification of detected isotopes. AAC shield was proposed for reduction of external background that will result in increase of sensitivity of the SPEC system. A conceptual design of relevant data acquisition system was presented in the report. The EAD functional scheme was also outlined.
Task 3.2 – Comparative study of scintillators and Ge detector – Completed
Results achieved: The use of Ge detector was ruled out because of the significant cost needed to get satisfactory detection efficiency and the serious technical constraints related with necessity of cooling the Ge detector. Background response was measured for 3”×3” NaI:Tl, BGO, LaBr3 and CeBr3 scintillators in order to define sensitivity levels potentially achieved with such detectors. Energy resolution and full energy peak detection efficiency was measured to evaluate the MDA for each tested detector. The study included analysis of background reduction due to use of AAC shield together with passive lead shield. As a conclusion, 74 mm diameter and 76 mm height CeBr3 scintillator with PMT readout was selected as optimal detector for the SPEC system.
Task 3.3 –Chemical concentration system – Completed
Results achieved: the technical discussion on requirements under WP1 evidenced the advantages of using a two-stages ion concentration system based on a reverse osmosis stage plus an exchange-resin stage: by sending the ion-enriched water from the first stage to the RTM, the detection limit for alpha and beta radiation can be improved significantly. The two stages ion-concentration system based on reverse osmosis (stage 1) and ion-exchange resins (stage 2) has been designed and constructed at UNIPD. It provides a factor about 10 ion pre-concentrated water to the RTM detector and a further ion concentration by a factor 10 to 100 inside the resins in front of the SPEC detector. Detailed retention tests for the ion-exchange resins have been carried out in laboratory.
Task 3.4 – Design and test of the Active Anti-Coincidence shield – Completed
Results achieved: Measurements with 3”×3” LaBr3 detector inside an existing BGO AAC shield and inside thick lead castle were performed in order to assess the feasibility of using the AAC shield to increase the sensitivity of the SPEC system. The AAC shield for the SPEC was designed in the form of a cylinder made of BGO scintillator with 28.5 mm wall thickness and 200 mm length.
Task 3.5 – Design of the detector – Completed
Results achieved: GEANT4 simulations and measurements of trace Cs-137 activity in epoxy resin were performed in order to evaluate the effect of the dispersion of the radioactive material inside the concentrator system. Based on the achieved results the design of the concentrator was presented. A detailed design of the SPEC system including gamma-ray detector based on the CeBr3 scintillator, AAC shield based on BGO crystals, chemical concentration system based on ion-exchange resins and a passive lead shield was realized. The final design of the EAD system was also provided.
Task 3.6 – Mechanical design – Completed
Results achieved: The design of the gamma-ray detector based on CeBr3 scintillator coupled to PMT was provided. The design of the AAC shield was prepared accordingly to the size of the gamma-ray detector.
Task 3.7 – Prototype production – Completed
Results achieved: The gamma-ray detector based on CeBr3 scintillator coupled to PMT was delivered by SCIONIX and first tests were performed at NCBJ. The AAC shield was designed. Based on the design of the CeBr3 detector, the AAC shield and the concentration system, the passive lead shield were produced. The EAD system (detector, water chamber and lead shielding) was produced in Padova by UNIPD.
Task 3.8 – Test – Completed
Results achieved: The prototype of the detector module was tested by NCBJ in laboratory conditions. Basic parameters like energy resolution, linearity and a sensitivity for the traces of activity were measured and found to be consistent with the design specifications (as an example, an energy resolution (FWHM) better than 4% for the 662 keV line of Cs-137 was measured). The performance of the anti-Compton shield has been evaluated using Cs-137 and Co-60 gamma sources.
WP3 Highlights: Deliverable D3.1 was submitted on time. The design of the SPEC detector was delayed by 1 month, however already at the time of D3.2 delivery the gamma-ray detector was produced and tested. The delivery of the passive and AAC shields was on time. The EAD system was designed and produced in Padova by UNIPD.
Deviations: some delay in the delivery of the chemicals and the resulting delay in the laboratory tests contributed to 1-month delay for the submission of D3.2. This delay had not no influence on further tasks and the WP closed on time.
MS3 “Spectroscopy Detector” was fulfilled on time.

WP4 – Power Supply System
This WP was devoted to design and produce the electronic power supply system for RTM and SPEC detectors.
Task 4.1 – Conceptual design – Completed
Results achieved: The conceptual design of the power supply system, which contains the overall architecture of RTM and SPEC power supply was completed on M6. In addition also the EAD powering scheme architecture was included in the document.
Task 4.2 – Real Time Monitor detector power supply design – Completed
Results achieved: The design of the RTM power supply system, including the HV specifications and the electronic board to integrate the HV channels, was completed on M12.
Task 4.3 – Spectroscopy detector power supply design – Completed
Results achieved: The design of the SPEC power supply was completed on M12. In addition also the EAD power supply design was completed on M12.
Task 4.4 – Prototypes production – Completed
Results achieved: The production of the Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) for RTM, SPEC and EAD High Voltage Power supplies and the mounting was completed.
Task 4.5 – Remote control & monitoring of the emergency power system – Completed
Results achieved: a commercial uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system, needed to prevent damages caused by temporary main power failures, was identified, procured and tested.
Task 4.6 – Test – Completed
Results achieved: All devices produced in the Task 4.4 were tested by CAEN with the collaboration of SCIONIX and UNIPD to be qualified before being shipped for integration.
WP4 Highlights: The WP4 activity proceeded with no problems according with the planning.
WP4 Deviations: no deviation respect to the project plan.

WP5 – Read-out System
This WP was devoted to design and produce the electronic front-end, including the data acquisition system for RTM, SPEC and EAD detectors.
Task 5.1 – Conceptual design – Completed
Results achieved: The conceptual design of the Read-out system, which contains the overall architecture of RTM and SPEC power supplies was completed on M6. In addition also the EAD powering scheme architecture was included in the document.
Task 5.2 – Real Time Monitor read-out design – Completed
Results achieved: The design of the RTM read-out system, including the specifications of the firmware in the RTM Digitizer module, was completed on M12.
Task 5.3 – Spectroscopy detector read-out design – Completed
Results achieved: The design of the RTM read-out system was completed on M12. In addition also the EAD read-out design was completed on M12.
Task 5.4 – Prototypes production – Completed
Results achieved: The production of the Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) for RTM, SPEC and EAD Digitizers and the mounting was completed.
Task 5.5 – Test – Completed
Results achieved: All devices produced in the Task 5.4 were tested by CAEN with the collaboration of SCIONIX and UNIPD to be qualified before being shipped for integration.
WP5 Highlights: The WP5 activity proceeded with no problems according with the planning.
WP5 Deviations: no deviation respect to the project plan.

WP6 – Software for Control & Analysis
The Software for Control and Analysis (SCA) is in charge of several tasks:
1) the slow control of the detectors and of the front-end electronics, including power supplies
2) check the detector stability and monitor the background due to the ambient radioactivity
3) manage the hydraulic system to synchronize the water sampling cycles
4) manage the RTM data determining the presence of an alarm
5) manage the SPEC system searching for the relevant water contaminations.
All functions are performed in one local computer (LC) connected to the RTM and SPEC systems. A suitable local user interface (LUI) runs on the Data Collection and Communication Module (DCC) of the ICT Infrastructure and allows the user to access all results of the data analysis and interesting information at different levels of complexity. A local low-level expert-user interface running on the LC is also available for maintenance of the whole system.
Task 6.1 – Conceptual design of the software for control and analysis system – Completed
Results achieved: the conceptual design of the different parts of the SCA has been presented in D6.1, including the software framework (OS, libraries and drivers, analysis tools, ...), the hardware layout, the hydraulic system, the subroutines for configuring and operating the device and the analysis and communication tools.
Task 6.2 – Local User Interface – Completed
Results achieved: during task 6.1, following also the End-users suggestions, it was decided to implement a single User Interface on the DCC module (see D6.1 for details) accessible either from the Central Server by the operator in the control room, or from the Local Computer by an operator at the measuring site. The LUI has different levels of complexity according with the role assigned to the user. Moreover, a dedicated graphic interface has been implemented for low-level maintenance of the system at the LC level. This graphic interface allows the expert-user to perform all main operations from a simple window-based layout. More sophisticated or unusual operations are always possible by accessing the setup, configuration and log files. This interface is accessible either by a direct connection using a standard laptop with Ethernet port, or by a remote login on the LC. The access to the LC is password protected and all connections are monitored by the central server of the ICT.
Task 6.3 – Setting-up, control system and calibration routines – Completed
Results achieved: the basic functionalities for the automated start-up and integrity check of the system have been implemented in a general way and tested with the existing hardware setup. The design for the implementation using the final hardware has been defined as well.
Task 6.4 – Decision tree – Completed
Results achieved: the implemented Decision Tree module is used in both the start-up and calibration phase (Task 6.3) and the normal operation of the system. It hosts the subroutines for automated background measurement and definition of the alarm thresholds, the background monitoring, the gamma calibration of the SPEC detector and the nuclide identification. In particular, regarding the nuclide identification algorithms, two general algorithms have been implemented in view of a final optimized implementation that requires the final figures of merit of the SPEC detector. Due to the good energy resolution of the CeBr3 scintillator, the peak search algorithm has been finally used for the software release installed during the demo phase.
Task 6.5 – Integration of the software components – Completed
Results achieved: All software components developed under tasks 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 have been integrated and tested during the laboratory tests at UNIPD.
WP6 Highlights: the test and validation of the software components proceeded according with the development of the detector parts (RTM, SPEC, HS). This Work Package produced a first release of the software able to operate the different components of the TAWARA_RTM system, nevertheless the final aspect of the software and the details of the data analysis (in particular the decision tree), that are strongly hardware-dependent, have been optimized at several stages along the whole project, in particular during the characterization phase at ENEA (WP9) and the demo phase at MPWIK (WP10).
WP6 Deviations: WP6 showed no deviation with respect to the project plan.

WP7 – ICT Infrastructure
The ICT infrastructure is responsible to collect data from all the monitoring nodes scattered along the tap water plant, allowing the complete control at Control Center and offering a user-friendly web remote interface. Furthermore it is in charge of alerting the operators in case of alarm.
Task 7.1 – Conceptual Design of the ICT infrastructure subparts– Completed
Results achieved: the specification of the DCC and CS in terms of features, behavior for all use cases and the study of the possible choices for physical and logical interconnections among the system sub-parts. The results were reported in the Deliverable D7.1.
Task 7.2 – Detailed Design of the ICT infrastructure subparts – Completed
Results achieved: the complete architectural scheme of the ICT infrastructure, with the candidate hardware for each part of the system, the connection technology, the structure and features of the software modules, the communication protocols and the features of the exchanged data flows (i.e. alarms, commands, aggregates, raw). Moreover, the definition of a software library implementing the ad-hoc protocol for the integration between the DCC and the LPC. The results was collected in the Deliverable D7.2.
Task 7.3 – Development of Prototypes – Completed
Results achieved: a first version of the software library for the integration of the DCC with the LPC running within the monitoring node was delivered during this task. Moreover, a first implementation of the DCC data acquisition and presentation sub-modules were delivered as well.
Task 7.4 – Assembling, Integration & Test – Completed
Results achieved: The ICT components developed under Task 7.3 were integrated and tested with the hardware existing at that time.
WP7 Highlights: the activities of the WP7 proceeded as planned in the project plan, without any considerable issue. As for WP6, further improved software versions were released in correspondence of the following crucial steps of the project, in particular during WP10, after the first feedback of the End-users.
WP7 Deviations: WP7 showed no deviation with respect to the project plan.

WP8 – System Integration
This WP was dedicated to the integration of the main 6 TAWARA_RTM components: the three detector systems (RTM, SPEC and EAD), the front-end electronics (including power supplies) the SCA system and the ICT infrastructure, to obtain the complete, functioning demonstrator prototype. The prototype was then delivered to WP9 for laboratory tests.
Task 8.1 – RTM subsystem integration – Completed
Results achieved: The RTM system (detector units + electronics + hydraulic system + software) was integrated and tested first at UNIPD using tap water and NORM (in particular K-40 contained in natural potassium of KCl). RTM1 was shipped to ENEA in December 2015, RTM2 and RTM3 in January 2016.
Task 8.2 – SPEC subsystem integration – Completed
Results achieved: The SPEC system (detector + electronics + software) was integrated and tested first at UNIPD using radioactive sources. The whole system was then shipped to ENEA in November 2015.
Task 8.3 – End-user setup for detector hosting – Completed
Results achieved: The installation site at the North Waterwarks in Wieliszew was prepared by MPWiK people with the collaboration of NCBJ
WP8 Highlights: nothing critical to be reported.
WP8 Deviations: WP8 closed with no deviation with respect to the project plan. Only the delivery of RTM was delayed by 1 month (see WP2 for details).

WP9 – Instruments Certification
The aim of WP9 is the certification of the prototype detectors produced under the project (RTM, SPEC and EAD). It includes a number of different tests needed to check that prototypes and final instruments developed in the project are suitable for the intended use. Two main types of tests will be carried out: 1) characterization and type approval; 2) calibration.
Task 9.1 – Tests protocol definition – Completed
Results achieved: A dedicated “characterization protocol” has been defined, including sensitivity, selectivity, background, short term stability, long term stability, linearity with respect to activity, and characteristic limits. The protocol was produced using as a reference the national and international Standards (CEN, ISO, IEC, BIPM) with the aim to evaluate the main components of the measurement uncertainty to be associated with the instrument reading.
Task 9.2 – Laboratory characterization & instruments calibration – Completed
Results achieved: many radioactive aqueous solutions were prepared starting from a set of calibrated masters. Special care was used in the preparation of the test solutions adding non-standard chemicals to prevent the instrument contamination (EDTA, DTPA, stable carriers). Moreover, all radioactive solutions were measured before and after the tests using standard certified techniques. Several sealed hydraulic circuits were prepared to properly handle the radioactive solutions during the tests. The setup preparation started in Nov. 2015 and continued till Jan. 2016.
Task 9.3 – System final tuning after characterization – Completed
Results achieved: The first test phase (Jan.-Feb. 2016) was devoted to the background measurements in different conditions (blank definition). Then several sets of measurements with radioactive solutions were performed in verified conditions. The radioisotope list used in the measurements includes Am-241, K-40, Co-60, Sr-90, Y-90, F-18 for RTM and EAD; a richer list was used for SPEC.
Task 9.4 – Test for the official certification & final calibration – Completed
Results achieved: a detailed analysis of the data taken during the previous tasks allowed to extract the final calibration parameters with associate uncertainties. An official certification for each of the new instruments (RTM, SPEC and EAD) reporting the calibration parameters and all relevant characterization quantities was finally issued. An extensive description of the tests and the data analysis can be found in Deliverable D9.1.
WP9 Highlights: A main issue characterized the first phase of tests at ENEA: the first test solution with Am-241 was prepared using standard preparation procedures. This fact caused a small alpha contamination of the RTM chambers. The absolute activity of the contamination is really small, well below any safety risk limit, but still significant for the instrument, due to its high sensitivity and its intrinsic very low background. The system went later through a decontamination phase that removed most of the left Americium. An increase of a factor 5-10 with respect to the background rate measured before was finally observed. After that, it was decided to start a deeper dedicated experimental campaign to measure the contamination of the different radioactive sources on the detector surface. For this reason, a three months extension of the project end was asked. The WP9 end, initially foreseen for end of Jan., was then moved to end of April 2016.
WP9 Deviations: The deviations from the original planning were included in the amended planning.
MS5 “Instruments certification” was fulfilled with some delay due to a bureaucratic slowing down. The documents were in fact ready on time, but the final signature of the certificates took quite a long time. They were finally issued on June 30th 2016 with a two months delay, considering the new planning in the Amendment No. 1.

WP10 – Field Demonstration
This WP was devoted to operate the whole setup in real waterworks condition and demonstrate the usefulness of the TAWARA_RTM system for quality assessment and security controls in real conditions.
Task 10.1 – Organization of Demo – Completed
Results achieved: Preparation of test procedures. Training of the staff of Waterworks Company. Administrative work in order to gain access for people and equipment to Waterworks Company locations.
Task 10.2 – Field demonstration – Completed
Results achieved: The TAWARA_RTM components were shipped from ENEA to MPWIK during the second half of April 2016. Starting from May, the RTM and SPEC system were installed inside the Model Station of the North Waterworks. The EAD was installed in a different building to be fed with raw water just after the sedimentation stage. During May the instruments went through a test phase with fine-tuning of the software (SCA and ICT), in order to meet the local working conditions and the first suggestions of the End-users. A prompt and efficient collaboration with the technicians of the Waterworks characterized this period. Starting from June 2016 the instruments were working in almost stable conditions. The instruments were constantly monitored from remote by UNIPD and UNIPI and, in case of failures or other problems, the Waterworks personnel helped by people from NCBJ were in charge of operating locally on the systems. During June several software bugs were fixed and some working procedure was improved. The two final months (July-August 2016) the instruments were working in stable conditions with an overall up-time of the order of 75%.
Task 10.3 – Report writing – Completed
Results achieved: A final report was produced containing information on the results of the field tests and the End-users remarks on their experience with the new instrument. In particular, the poissonian behavior of the measurements was verified and the background level and stability in real operating conditions was evaluated. A detailed analysis of the false alarms recorded during the final demo phase (Jul.-Aug.) was performed in order to disentangle between random software/hardware malfunctioning and statistical or true-like events. A number of software strategies to intercept such malfunctioning were identified and they are planned to be included in a next software release.
WP10 Highlights: the activities of the WP10 proceeded regularly. As already mentioned, a very efficient and useful collaboration with the personnel of the Waterworks has characterized positively this period.
WP10 Deviations: WP10 showed no deviation with respect to the project plan.
MS6 “Field demonstration results” was fulfilled on time, considering the new planning in the Amendment No. 1.
MS4 “Authorization for water sampling”: it has to be mentioned that, according with the EC prescription at the time of proposal evaluation, no radioactive sources or any type of activated material have been used during the final demonstration inside the Warsaw Waterworks premises. On this basis, the authorization for water sampling, due M20, was issued by MPWIK on June 17th 2015 and sent the same day to the PO. Consequently also MS4 was fulfilled on time.

WP11 – Management
WP11 run during the whole project M1-M33 with two major activities: the project management and the assessment and evaluation activities. Project management concentrates on the maintenance of communication channels, the deliverance of reports according to specifications and aspects of budgeting. Main objectives are the coordination of the interactions between the WP leaders and the different Boards of the project, the regular reporting to the European Commission, the organization of management and technical meetings for discussing strategy and progress of the project as well as quality control. The assessment and evaluation objectives are the evaluation of the progress of the project and to draw conclusions and recommendations for the future development. See D11.2 for details about the WP11 activity and the final considerations about use of resources and budget.

Potential Impact:
The dissemination activities related to the TAWARA_RTM project were included in a dedicated Work Package (WP12 – Exploitation and Dissemination) leaded by CAEN, one of two SME of the Consortium.
WP objectives
This WP was in charge to provide the project with the adequate link with the external world, potential customers, international organizations and other main stakeholders and studied the transferability of the final system. The dissemination of the scientific and technical achievements of the project was also provided. Due to the strong societal relevance of the project, it was considered of capital importance to keep a strong connection with all the most relevant international organizations. The deliveries were constantly targeted towards the requirements of the final users, and will leverage the working relations of CAEN, SCIONIX, MPWIK and WIW.
Permanent working group
A permanent group lead by CAEN is planned to persist after completion of this project in order to ensure a follow-up after the formal completion of the project, with particular attention to the following fields:
a) Improvements and adaptation of the final system to changing conditions (international regulations, user requirements, ...)
b) Intellectual Property issues
c) Training of potential users
A dedicated study on how to transfer the system and adapt it to different applications and on the additional efforts to be performed to reach this objective has been produced at the end of the project (Deliverable 12.3). In tis work we analyzed the issues to license the equipment and to perform a program in term of cost benefits, induced additional markets.
Results achieved
- The exploitation activity started during the definition of end-user requirements. The SMEs involved in the project put their effort in defining the proper requirements for system scalability in the view of different applications and end-users scenarios.
- In addition CAEN investigated the potential market of the TAWARA_RTM system and prepared a project brochure which has already been distributed during conferences and events where the company was attending as exhibitor.
- The TAWARA RTM website ( is online since the beginning of 2015 and it has been conceived to serve two purposes. First, it represents the main point of dissemination about the project and its initiatives. Second, it implements a general means of sharing and storing private documents and deliverables among project partners. The website was frequently updated with news, downloadable material and general information about the project. A dedicated private area, accessible only for the project partners, represents the online space for sharing and storing meeting minutes, deliverables, etc.
- Press work: Consortium members have announced key achievements of the TAWARA_RTM consortium via press releases. This was performed in full compliance with the EC's guidelines as well as the consortium's internal agreements.
- Education: several students were made involved in the project activities inside the Universities and the Research Centers. A couple of bachelor theses in Physics were issued in Padova on a thesis work in the project R&D phase.
- Participation to International Conferences and Exhibitions: a concentrated effort was made to reach both the scientific community as well as end user groups. This effort leaded to the publication of some TAWARA_RTM development results, and presentations in front of expert audiences. These activities were intensified in the second half of the project. A list of the dissemination activities is presented in the SESAM online database.
- Publications: one publication on the R&D results of the single foil scintillator detector (IEEE Trans. in Nucl. Sci.) is reported in SESAM. Two more works are in progress: a refereed article on Appl. Rad. and Iso. coming from the proceeding of the ICRM-LLRMT 2016 Conference and a standard article on Sens. and Act. B on the results obtained in Padova on the chemical and physical analysis of the scintillator foils. Both articles are expected to be submitted in 2017.
- Participation and organization of public workshops also linked to other EU-FP7 projects of the same call (SAFEWATER and ISIS): a first workshop was organized in November 2015 in Brussels by ISIS. Our project contributed with several oral presentations and with a financial support. A second event was the TAWARA_RTM final meeting held in Warsaw in July 2016. In this event SAFEWATER contributed with a presentation on its project. A TAWARA_RTM and ISIS representatives will be present at the forthcoming SAFEWATER workshop in November 2016.

List of Websites:


Marcello Lunardon, (Researcher)
Tel.: +39 049 827 5643
Fax: +39 049 827 7102
Record Number: 193466 / Last updated on: 2017-01-12
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top