WIT to give radiation measurement support to EPA

(L-R): (front row) Dr Stephen Fennell, EPA; Laura Burke, EPA; Prof Willie Donnelly, WIT; Lorraine Currivan, EPA; Dr Peter McLoughlin, WIT); (back row) Dr Joe Murphy, WIT; Dr Andrea Bourke, WIT; Dr Claire Keary, WIT; Dr Orla O'Donovan, WIT. Photo: George Goulding

Agreement part of the National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents

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11 December 2019 | 0

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have agreed to provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with radiation measurement support. Under the service level agreement (SLA), WIT will provide a framework to enhance cooperation in environmental radiation monitoring as part of the National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents (NEPNA).

The EPA’s Radiation Monitoring Laboratory uses air filters, food and environmental samples to analyse environmental radioactivity and has national terrestrial and marine monitoring programmes. In the event of a nuclear emergency, the data produced by the lab can be used as evidence to support technical assessments of the consequences of an accident.

The collaboration between the lab and the WIT physics department has been ongoing for several years, but now, WIT has been delegated a specific role under the EPA’s national radioactivity monitoring programme. WIT has agreed to provide additional laboratory measurement capability to the EPA in support of NEPNA. In doing so, WIT will need to develop in-house expertise in the measurement and reporting of air filters by using gamma ray spectroscopy and then supply the EPA with the results.

 

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The SLA was signed at WIT by Laura Burke, director general of the EPA, and by WIT’s president, Prof Willie Donnelly. At the signing, Prof Donnelly said: “We are delighted that this agreement has been signed as it recognises the on-going links between physics staff at WIT and the EPA, and will provide more opportunities for cooperation and research between the two organisations. This will be of great benefit for WIT undergraduate and postgraduate physics students who wish to pursue project work or further their studies in the area of radiation monitoring.”

“The EPA is delighted to enter into this agreement with WIT,” said Burke. “As well as supporting important environmental radiation research, the collaboration will significantly strengthen Ireland’s emergency preparedness capabilities under the NEPNA, helping to build up additional national scientific expertise in this important area. Working in collaboration with other organisations helps us to develop new links in other areas of environmental science.”

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