Nuclear ponds are used worldwide to store radioactive nuclear material, often for
extended periods of time. The pond water conditions need to be closely monitored
so that mitigation strategies can be put in place should any leakage of radioactive
This paper describes the selection, development and on-site deployment of a
bespoke system whose design was based on of-the-shelf components. The system
is able to identify, locate and diferentiate the leakage of radioactive material
stored in nuclear ponds from the background activity of the water in the pond.
The selection of an appropriate detector and monitoring geometry was supported
by MCNP modelling which allowed a high degree of confdence in the proposed
design. The development of the system allowed a real-time indication of the
canister integrity, without incurring the increased operator doses from manual
sampling operations that were previously used on site.
The benefts of the developed system include the fact that the system is
lightweight, easily deployable, retrievable, de-contaminable and results in
negligible waste products. Moreover, it is able to analyse the samples in-situ, in
this way reducing the time needed to manually collect and send the samples to a
laboratory for lengthy analysis.
Deployment and testing of the system in a Sellafeld pond