Bertin Instruments radiation detection probes delivered to the French nuclear operator are to be deployed in the event of an emergency.

Shortly after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011, a need for additional safety measures became obvious. On the recommendation of the French nuclear safety regulator (ASN), EDF suggested creating a ’Nuclear rapid action force’ (FARN). The FARN teams can be mobilized and fully operational within 24 hours in the event of an accident.

They take action to assure the power plant’s three vital functions: supply of air, water and electricity. The FARN program for emergency response includes equipment that can be sent to the scene of an accident, for example mobile pumps, generators, vehicles, helicopters, personal protection and communications equipment.

Saphymo develops remotely deployable probes for the protection of personnel involved in securing contaminated terrain. Thus the new GammaTRACER Spider probe concept was born. This self-erecting probe is based on Geiger Muller tubes with GPS for simple unmanned deployment.

It is possible to throw the probes out of a vehicle, push them through an outlet or send them to contaminated or inaccessible terrain, minimizing the exposure of the first responders. EDF took the decision to equip all of its French plants with 164 of the monitors on a type that can be arranged manually. The compact Spider probes transmit data via Iridium satellite. This is the only secure system operable in all fields and in the event of regional power breakdowns.

The probes are also equipped with weatherproof housing and built-in rechargeable batteries allowing up to five years’ operation. The central server is equipped with DataEXPERT software for remote configuration and secure web access (internet/intranet) via WebVIEW, a web-based visualization and analysis tool. Data is presented on maps, charts and tables, also usable on mobile devices.

Find out more about the GammaTRACER Spider probe>>