Radiological and Nuclear Threats to Critical Infrastructure


Radiological and Nuclear Threats to Critical Infrastructure


Focus of work

The Thematic Group focussed on the following three current areas:

  • List-mode data acquisition based on digital electronics. Time-stamped list-mode data format produces significant added value compared to more conventional spectrum format. It improves source localisation, allows signal-to-noise optimisation, noise filtering, with some new gamma and neutron detectors requiring list-mode to function. List-mode approach also allows precise time synchronisation of multiple detectors enabling, for example, simultaneous singles and coincidence spectrometry such as singles gamma and UV-gated gamma spectrometry.
  • Remote-controlled radiation measurements and sampling using unmanned vehicles. There are several measurement and sampling scenarios that are too risky for humans to carry out. Applications envisaged are: reactor and other accidents, dirty bombs before and after explosion, search of sources out of regulatory control etc
  • Expert support of field teams, i.e. data moves instead of people and samples. Fast and high quality response can be achieved with less people. Optimal formats and protocols for reach-back.

The ERNCIP thematic group on Radiological and Nuclear Threats to Critical Infrastructure (RN) had explored different options for future action in 2019. During ameeting on 27 March 2020, ERNCIP suggested that the TG RN should work on the following topic:

"Requirements and capabilities needed for testing of robotic equipment carrying measurement devices for the detection of CBRNE threats in an authentic environment"

There was agreement among the experts that currently there is a lack of such testing and training capacity in the EU and that a dedicated report would be an important step in improving/creating this capacity. The TG agreed to establish such a report which will examine the topic from different angles, including state of the art, the outline of an ideal testing facility, crime scene management etc. A final report is expected within approximately one year.

Main achievements

In response to the report delivered by CEN/TC 391 "Societal and Citizen Security" to the Commission in the frame of mandate M/487 "security standards", DG HOME entrusted JRC-ERNCIP with the objective to develop a report/draft standard that includes the basic elements concerning the list-mode data format based on digital nuclear electronics, for consideration by the appropriate standardisation community.

In 2014, the ERNCIP RN Thematic Group published two reports discussing the current state-of-the-art and critical parameters of digital data acquisition hardware, and proposing the first elements of a standard (EUR 26715; EUR 26976). In 2015, a survey was conducted to assess the needs of end-users, to be taken into account in the development of a preliminary draft standard. The ERNCIP RN Thematic Group triggered the establishment of a consortium of Member States laboratories who receive H2020 funding through Euramet for the development of an accepted committee draft. The consortium partners are NPL (UK), STUK (Finland), ENEA (Italy) and CEA (France). JRC takes part as an unfunded partner.

On 15 October 2015, and in agreement with the consortium, JRC submitted to IEC/TC 45 a New Work Item Proposal, accompanied by a preliminary draft, for the development of the new standard. The proposal was accepted by the IEC/TC 45 National Committees.

The publication date of the standard IEC 63047 was October 2018.

Magic Maggiore - Technical Reachback Workshop 2017

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) has developed this two and a half day workshop to bring together technical, scientific, and policy experts with specific expertise in the area of technical reachback and those who rely on technical reacbhack support as an aspect of their job functions.

Click for more details and presentation slides

Deliverables List