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Improved Nuclear SIte characterization for waste minimization in DD operations under constrained EnviRonment

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - INSIDER (Improved Nuclear SIte characterization for waste minimization in DD operations under constrained EnviRonment)

Reporting period: 2020-06-01 to 2021-11-30

The INSIDER EURATOM european project aimed at improving the management of contaminated materials arising from Decommissioning and Dismantling (D&D) operations for a global reduction of the volume of waste while improving their categorisation. An integrated radiological characterization methodology, under waste-led consideration, has been developped, including a robust metrological scheme. This methodology is based on advanced sampling design and statistical data processing , coupled with adapted/ innovative measurement methods, with respect to sustainability and economic objectives.
The overall approach is now qualified through 4 different case studies, in the form of bechmarking. The metrological support to this experimental validation is based on different interlaboratory and in situ inter-team comparisons to assess the proficiency of the labs, the performance of the methods and the uncertainties of the results. They are based on representative matrix reference and certified reference materials manufactured during the project. The third period of the project was also devoted 1) to the performance assessment and global uncertainty budget, 2) to webtools development in support to further implementation of the methodology, 3) to guidelines and recommendations report publication, 4) to the organisation of the final workshop and EUG feedback. The result dissemination is carried out in parallel through the knowledge platform, trainings, workshop, and the critical overview of standards.
The INSIDER project is managed within the WP1 and the others are technical:

- WP2 major effort was at the beginning of the project with the collection of end-user requirements and the design of the benchmark. Then it has mostly monitored the execution of the exercises: UC1 (liquid waste storage facility), UC2 (biological shield of a reactor) and UC3 (contaminated soil and activated graphite). The report on the results of the benchmark exercises contains the main lessons learnt from the INSIDER project and provides guidance to the decommissioning community.

In WP3, The main objective of WP3 to draft a guideline for sampling has been achieved within the 3rd working period (D3.7: approved on the INSIDER ECCP on 21/10/2021). In addition, a beta version of the guideline is ready on 1/11/2021 for testing and will be publically available on before 30/11/2021. This is a surplus compared to the grant agreement. All other tasks and deliverables/milestones within WP3 have been completed/reached in the previous reporting periods.

In WP4, The review and report on radiochemical capabilities in European laboratories (D4.1) and the development of a radiochemical microsystem (D4.2) was completed in the first reporting period, followed by publications produced during the second reporting period. Work in this reporting period continued to characterise the solid and liquid reference materials (D4.3) developed by CMI and NPL. The final values were provided to WP6 to process the results submitted for the inter-laboratory comparison.

WP5 deals with Database containing companies operating at EU level in D&D ; State of the art of the in-situ measurement techniques; Analysis of the constrained environments expected in the nuclear installations ; Recommended measurement tools depending on the determinations and the existing constraints in the area; Organisation of the participation (and participation) in the in-situ measurement campaigns in UC1 and 2 ; Results analysis; Guidelines on method validation and implementation; INSPECT software

WP6 deals with performance assessment and uncertainty evaluation and most of the effort was dedicated during this reporting period to the organization of comparisons (on CRM and on real samples samples, in situ or in laboratory) developed in this project (DL6.1 and DL6.2 concerning this organization are achieved). Statistical analyses of comparisons are in progress, synthesis of the BR3 in situ comparison is almost complete. Task 6.3 concerning the uncertainty budget started out well.

The WP7 tasks have been successfully completed. The task on Training was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemia and replaced by the implementation of a web tool to assist in the choice of the best measurement method. A webinar was organised for its dissemination.. All the planned deliverables have been produced on time.
The radiological characterization of a facility prior to performing any D&D and remediation operations is a crucial step in the definition of a viable decommissioning scenario. This scenario must be robust and optimized not only with regards to technical issues, produced waste amount, and workers dosimetry, but also with regards to costs, deadlines, and safety. Today, information can be gained from the reconstitution of a 3D vision of a facility or of the components to be characterized. The INSIDER project focus on radiological characterization, including the sampling strategy and sampling design, through waste-led integrated approaches The methodology supported by the INSIDER project contributes to the improvement of the characterization approaches by proposing a complete sampling/measurement coupling operated by advanced statistical processing of the data and completed by an evaluation of measurement performance and uncertainty budgets, in real situations. it faced in particular the problem of radiological characterization with a very limited amount of available data as well as the performance assessment issue in real D&D conditions requiring real matrix certified reference materials for measurement calibration and interlaboratory comparisons implementation. The INSIDER consortium has taken up the challenge of coupling remote laboratory analysis and in situ measurement for statistical modeling by a metrological approach to qualifying the integrated methodology with application to real projects representative of the identified use cases. At the end of the project, 1) certified matrix reference materials manufacturing routes, 2) webtools in support to sampling design approaches selection and in situ methods implementation, and 3) recommendations for uncertainty assessments, were made available. With its benchmarking on 4 use cases, the INSIDER project allows enhancing knowledge and feedback on decommissioning worksites. The reliability of the measurement results as well as the guidance for optimal use of existing techniques should contribute to public acceptance and to the limitation of the environmental footprint.
All the expected guidelines of the project are now available in support of future works of international standardization committees. They may contribute efficiently to the intended harmonization of the methodologies at the European level.
3 uses cases - associated benchmarking methodology