Daily Course Evaluation
Overall and Administration Evaluation

Regional Training Course on Rapid Assessment of Radionuclides in the Marine Environment

Date: 10 – 21 September 2018
Location: Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
Language: English

Application Deadline for Nominee(s) of Invited IAEA Member States: 4 June 2018


The purpose of the event is to build advanced theoretical and practical capacity for participating countries to enhance rapid measurement and assessment of radionuclides potentially released to the marine environment. This training course aims to further strengthen the skills already developed in the region and complement the capacities acquired through the previous Regional Training Courses in this project. The focus of this training course is on the rapid analysis of transuranic radionuclides (Plutonium isotopes and Americium-241) in sediment. Transuranic radionuclides are of particular interest for their potentially significant radiological effects on marine organisms and humans, but they also serve for fingerprinting release sources and as markers in geochronology studies of pollution. The hands-on laboratory training will involve an ALMERA validated IAEA method, thus contributing to methodological harmonization within the region and across different regions. The course aims also to improve skills in the analysis of specific gamma-ray emitting radionuclides and samples, therefore practical training will also be provided on the analysis of complex gamma-ray spectra, typical of those to be expected following routine and accidental releases from nuclear facilities. The course will in addition address the need to quantify and understand the impact of radionuclides released to the marine environment on humans. The methods for analysis and assessment presented in this course are highly relevant to the objectives of this project. In addition to providing instruction in the analysis, reporting and interpretation of data, it is expected that the course will offer a forum to share the acquired knowledge of RCA Government Parties in analytical procedures to the new participating countries and foster sharing of methodologies and know-how supporting further development of Asia-Pacific capacities and capabilities.

Scope and Nature

The course will take place over a two-week period, providing lectures, laboratory hands-on radiochemical and radioanalytical work and practical work on gamma-ray spectrum analysis and radiological assessment. Laboratory safety instruction will be provided in preparation of laboratory work.

The training programme includes discussions of the training materials presented and a session where the participants will briefly introduce their laboratory, their work and their expectations and goals for the training. Course materials and, where applicable, IAEA documents, will be provided on adequate information support.

Over the two-week period the following main topics will be addressed:

  • Rapid determination of Pu isotopes and Am-241 in marine sediment samples by alpha spectrometry (laboratory exercise)
  • Evaluation of complex gamma-ray spectra of environmental samples (practical exercise)
  • Sample chain of custody, laboratory quality assurance, data quality and data management
  • Specific applications of the RESRAD dose assessment codes (practical exercise)

Lectures will introduce the participants to projects addressing various case studies of past routine or accidental releases affecting the marine environment. During the course, trainees will have ample opportunity to share their views and expertise and discuss the challenges they encounter in their day-to-day work in the laboratory amongst themselves and with local and international experts.

A technical visit of selected facilities at Argonne National Laboratory is included in the programme.