Globally, the probability of a radiological or nuclear (R&N) event occurring is increasing. Past nuclear disasters such as Fukushima and Chernobyl demonstrate the cascade of short and long-term consequences that occur when decision-makers act reactively without up-to-date data. These incidents quickly spiral out of control without the necessary strategies or technology to manage them. This is especially significant with lots of international borders in proximity.
To keep such devastation in the past, preventative action must be prioritised. Decision-makers both on and offsite of an incident must be equipped with actionable intelligence to coordinate rapid, context-specific action. To achieve this, the approach must be holistic: the R&N incident detected, identified and mapped using concrete data from reliable technology. Prepared responses can then be set in motion e.g., deploying suitably equipped, trained responders with modern PPE.
Unlike other CBRN threats, R&N threats are more predictable, allowing different scenarios to be prepared for in advance. Decision-makers just need the right information to know what responses to implement quickly where and when. With a widespread and technically capable early warning system, essential spectral data is aggregated onto a single platform from each deployed static, mobile or handheld detector. Responses on different scales can then be coordinated in the appropriate location and timeframe.
Rapid response spectrometry is essential for R&N incident management. To make crucial, time-dependent decisions, local and national resilience networks must be constantly updated with spectral data, no matter how remote the incident.
Networkable Static Node R detectors relay radiological data to a cloud-based monitoring network every second. This self-contained system detects and identifies gamma and neutron radionuclides in real-time. Easily installed and rapidly relocatable, these ruggedised detectors can be stationed anywhere, no matter how remote or war-torn the location. Robust satellite communications and flexible battery options reduce the risk of any interruptions.
Handheld and Wearable Detectors
Those onsite must also be equipped with actionable intelligence to minimise contamination and harm caused to responders and civilians.
Kromek’s personal radiation detector, the D3M, has an ultra-low false alarm rate meaning missions are only interrupted by genuine R&N threats. Knowledge of the radioisotope or mixture present is also essential for context-specific responses. Another of Kromek’s gamma and neutron radiation detectors, the D3S ID, constantly searches for radioactive sources, and delivers real-time isotope ID from a large focal area to the user and remote decision-makers. For real-time situational awareness, the D3S NET transfers data via networked connections to support coordinated responses across cities, regions and other complex environments.
The D5 RIID, the smallest and lightest RIID on the market, also rapidly identifies and pinpoints radiological threats, even those from mixed or weak sources and highly masked environments. Localisation mode allows the exact location of a shielded source to be disclosed, helping prevent an R&N incident from occurring. Remote mode prioritises on-site operator safety, as when mounted on a robot/UGV, the D5 RIID can be deployed into any high-risk environment ahead of any person.
Aerial Detectors and Large-Scale Surveys
The ability to conduct aerial or ground surveys supports the safety of responders, civilians and operators. Evacuation routes can be identified via radiation maps produced by detectors fixed onto drones or vehicles. From a safe distance, routine aerial surveys can be completed with Kromek’s AARM drone-borne solution, mapping out radiation intensities and monitoring changes in contamination dispersal overtime.
Any data collected by the AARM Lite cannot be intercepted due to its one-to-one radio communications. Decision-makers are still informed of the situation and changes overtime via a secure cloud server or by receiving a single data file.
Networkability Completes the Solution
This radiological solution is complete by establishing monitoring networks on local, national and international scales. Integrating the data from all detectors to a central hub yields a comprehensive view of the entire situation, before during and after R&N events.
Implementing integrated, widespread responses is recognised as essential by the UK Government. The ‘UK Government Nuclear Emergency Planning and Response Guidance – Preparedness’ states that local authorities and resilience partners should have the necessary information to: ‘quickly alert and call out emergency responders, coordinate resources necessary to implement the plan, undertake off-site mitigation actions to protect the public’. Any delays in decisions could largely impact the benefits of any actions taken.
A complete early warning system with multiple networked detectors enables decision-making authorities to receive spectral data in real-time from anywhere. Consequently, the appropriate protective actions can be coordinated and adapted rapidly.
Overall R&N global preparedness must be strengthened. Integrating a variety of detectors into a scalable early warning system will help ensure planned countermeasures can be implemented quickly and adapted in the long-term, permitting preventative action and advancing current strategies.