SERAW – With an extended scope of accredation


In mid-April 2019, almost a year after receiving the initial accreditation,  Inspection Body type C – Free release from regulatory control at SERAW, accredited to the international standard „BDS EN ISO/IEC 17020:2012 – Conformity Assessment  Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection“ officially received an extension document to the scope of accreditation with inclusion of a specific mass activity parameter.
Specific mass activity parameter is an important characteristic for materials, which are assumed to be radioactively contaminated. Therefore, the precise quantitative determination of its values and comparison with levels, specified in laws, bylaws, regulations, standards and technical specifications ensures that no release of radioactivity into the environment, will be allowed. Consequently, the lives and health of citizens will not be threatened in any way by the harmful effects of radioactive waste generated by the use of state-of-the-art technologies. Due to that reason, it is extremely important to have the quantitative determination of the specific mass activity for materials and equipment carried out by trained and competent personnel with the aid of reliable measuring equipment. In compliance both with the international and Bulgarian legislation, this is a basic parameter for materials and equipment, which are free release candidates in accordance with the Act on the Safe Use of Nuclear Energy Act (ASUNE).
Most often, the materials and equipment, assumed to be radioactively contaminated, have a non-standard shape. For that reason, measuring of the radioactive contamination with surface scanning using portable measurement instruments is almost impossible because of the fact that there is no access to the whole area. Such materials and equipment are carefully sorted by type, fragmented and placed in packages of a regular shape – a pallet or a drum. The resulting packages are then measured by specific mass activity in a „gamma measuring cell“ type of measuring equipment.
For quantitative determination of the values of the specific mass activity parameter for materials and equipment, placed in packages, Inspection Body type C – Free release from regulatory control at SERAW has a facility unique to Bulgaria – a Free Release Measurement Facility – FRM-02. The system has been calibrated and has a valid Calibration Certificate issued by the Czech Metrology Institute. Metrological calibration test is carried out by the Bulgarian Institute of Metrology on an annual basis. Verifications for operational suitability according to methods developed in Inspection Body type C – Free release from regulatory control, are carried out on a daily basis. Only trained and competent personnel shall work with the system. FRM-02 is included in the list of measuring equipment available to the Inspection Body Type C and is a main facility for measuring the accredited specific mass activity parameter. The measurement process is completely automated and the system‘s efficiency is up to 50 tons of measured materials per day.
Using the FRM 02, the final measurement by specific mass activity parameter is implemented by comparing the result with the levels for free release from regulatory control, which are specified in the regulatory documents for applying the ASUNE.
Extension of the accreditation in short terms became possible thanks to the personnel of Inspection Body type C‘s constant raise of competence, strict compliance with requirements of the standard, support and understanding on behalf of SERAW’s top management.