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Development of the Arctic radionuclide monitoring station

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4 Author(s)
King, S.E. ; Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; Aakenes, U.R. ; McCoy, K. ; Phillips, Gary W.

The world has learned about the dumping of nuclear reactors and other waste into the Arctic seas by the former Soviet Union. Most of the information on the present levels of radioactivity in the region has been obtained by oceanographic expeditions conducted during the brief Arctic summers. Year-round monitoring of the movement of radioactivity during dynamic seasonal and episodic changes is hampered by the difficulties caused by sea ice, logistics and communication constraints associated with deployment and maintenance of monitoring equipment in this remote region. The authors have designed an autonomous station to measure the benthic gamma-ray emitting radioactivity for periods of at least one year. The station is capable of detecting a 30 Bq/m3 increase in the 137Cs activity in a 24 hour period. After a year-long deployment, the station releases its anchor and rises to the surface to transmit the accumulated spectra and oceanographic data via an Argos satellite link. The design and performance characteristics of the prototype station are discussed

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 3 )