The main objective of the proposed project concerns the development of a new system capable for low radioactivity level monitoring in continuous mode. For this task the efforts will be focused on the accomplishment of the following scientific and technological objectives:

a) The investigation of the properties (type, size, geometry) of detection materials by simulation exercises in aquatic environment to obtain the best energy resolution and maximum sensitivity

b) The simulation, assembly and incorporation of special electronics to reduce as much as possible the power consumption and the dimensions of the system, securing at the same time stable long-term operation

c) The development of algorithms for automated gamma-ray spectra analysis, radioisotopes recognition and minimization of the minimum detectable activity (MDA) by removing the contribution of radioactive potassium. The latter is a natural radioisotope rich in seawater and its presence results enhanced background levels limiting the MDA for other radio-ecologically important radioisotopes (e.g. 137Cs and 131I)

d) The establishment, by simulation codes and laboratory experiments, of the necessary methodology to convert the acquired gamma-ray data to quantitative activity concentrations (in absolute units Bq/L or Bq/m3). The methodology will be integrated in the aforementioned algorithms so the quantification of radioisotopes concentrations will be performed without additional analysis by the users

e) Finally, the design of the system will allow its integration on existing alert stations/platforms for radioprotection purposes.


In conclusion, the key concern of the proposed project is to provide end-users, charged with radio-protection tasks, with an integrated tool for keeping them directly and promptly informed about the radiological status of a marine area. This may promote their awareness efficient before, during and after any radiological crisis.