In the Nordic countries, there are 5 nuclear power plants in operation: Forsmark, OKG and Ringhals NPPs in Sweden and Loviisa and Olkiluoto in Finland. In addition, there are 3 research reactors JEEP II and HBWR in Norway and FiR-1 in Finland. Environmental safety of the nuclear installations is a sensitive and critical issue for the public and authorities. In the past years, an increased and more restrict environmental assessment program has been required by the authorities and initiated in the nuclear power plants and host institutions. For this purpose, some radionuclides difficult to measure, such as 14C, 63Ni, and 55Fe, have been added to the list of routine monitoring programme for discharges and circulation water. In Nordic countries, some nuclear reactors and nuclear facilities have been closed and many of them are being decommissioned, including research reactor DR3 in Denmark, two research reactors (R2 and R2-0) and 3 power reactors in Ågesta, and Barsbäck (1 and 2) in Sweden. For this purpose, various radionuclides have to be determined for characterisation of the produced waste. Here, determination of pure beta and alpha emitters is the major challenge in the characterisation of the wastes. Particularly 14C, 3H, 55Fe, and 63Ni, are of concern because of their high concentrations in the first few decades after the final shut down of the reactors.
In the past years, some radiochemical analytical methods have been developed and applied in Nordic industry and research institutions for waste analysis, environmental monitoring and decommissioning. However, because no suitable reference material is available, it is not easy to validate these methods. There is a high demand for a good approach for quality control and a great need for standard analytical methods for routine analysis of some important radionuclides.
This activity aims to establish a close collaboration among research institutions, authorities and nuclear industries in Nordic countries; to validate the currently applied radioanalytical methods by organization of inter-comparisons; to standardize the analytical methods of the important radionculides for routine analysis in the laboratories of the nuclear industry, research institutes and authorities; to identify new demands from the nuclear industry, and to develop new methods for the radiochemical analysis of nuclear waste to meet the increased requirements in nuclear industry.