A scintillation counter is attached to the drone, explained Johan Camps, head of SCK-CEN’s Crisis Management and Decision Support unit. « The device measures radioactivity by counting flashes of light caused by the influx of ionising radiation, which in turn indicates the magnitude of the radiation dose. The more light, the more radiation, » he said.
SCK-CEN and Sabca anticipate the nuclear sector will soon be able to rely upon the assistance of these unmanned aircraft. The drones could be used as part of a monitoring programme, or during decommissioning projects or emergency planning, to carry out radiological measurements without any human intervention.
« That will result in a significant step up in terms of radiation protection, » said SCK-CEN Director General Eric van Walle.