ITO LTD, in cooperation with the Marine Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (MERL-HCMR) and the Laboratory of Nuclear Physics of the National Technical University of Athens (LNP-NTUA), has successfully completed the project “Research and development of an in-situ underwater gamma-ray spectrometer for low-level radioactivity measurements” (Code: 12CHN212), in the frame of a bilateral Greece-China cooperation. The project was co-funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), Greece, under NSRF 2007-2013.

The final product of the project is the GeoMAREA system (Gamma-ray spectrometer for in-situ MARine Environmental Applications).

The GeoMAREA system

The sensor was developed for measuring in- situ the activity concentration of gamma-ray emitters in the marine environment. It is characterized by: capability to offer free-of-error continuous functionality down to 600 meter water depth; pluggable watertight cabling system for real time data transmission in case of operation at a buoy; high efficiency due to the minimum gamma-ray absorption in the enclosure material. Along with the sensor, a methodology has been developed (by using simulation codes and laboratory experiments) to convert the acquired gamma-ray data to quantitative activity concentrations (in absolute units Bq/L or Bq/m3), even for low level radioisotope concentrations. The combination of the state-of-the-art in-situ gamma-ray underwater sensor with the reliable quantification methodology renders GeoMAREA a gamma-ray spectrometer which is capable of performing measurements for different applications in the marine environment. The system has already been presented in international conferences.

Advantages

  • Stability
  • Low power consumption
  • Small dimensions
  • Long-term operation
  • Autonomy (computer independent)
  • Improved energy resolution and sensitivity
  • Different operation modes (stand-alone, cabled, at a buoy, on mobile platforms)
  • Capability for automated estimation of low radioactivity levels
  • Cost-efficient

 Applications areas

  • Policy and decision-making

Radioprotection, especially in coastal zone where nuclear power and waste processing plants operate (continuous monitoring and early warning)

  • Pollution assessment and monitoring

Radioecology studies – including monitoring radioactivity levels at the sea bottom – in coastal areas with industrial activity (cement, fertilizer, oil, mineral/mining, desalination plants)

  • Energy resources

Monitoring of natural radioactivity for hydrocarbons exploration activities (gas hydrates included) in the marine environment

  • Meteorology

Rainwater quantification and estimation of cloud type

  • Geophysical research

Gas emanation/activity of submarine faults, volcanoes and cold seeps

Quality and quantity assessment of submarine groundwater discharges

For more information please visit the following link: http://radioscopio.hcmr.gr

GeoMAREA Brochure