The field exercise on source search, identification and recovery was successfully conducted in French language for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi participants at the headquarters of the Tanzanian Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC) in Arusha, Tanzania from 30 to 31 August 2018.
The eight participants were coming from the partner countries DRC and Burundi. They were guided by three facilitators of ENCO and SCK•CEN and also assistance was received by technical staff from TAEC.
On the first day, the Consortium representatives gave 5 different presentations on radiation physics and protection, equipment and technical explanations on the different phases of the search, identification, characterization and recovery of radioactive sources. It included a demonstration of personal protection equipment and of various detection and identification/characterization equipment by the Consortium facilitators and the staff from TAEC, during and after which the participants had ample opportunity to get hands-on experience with the equipment themselves. The scenario of the exercise was explained in detail and the relevant standard operating procedures were presented and discussed.
The second day was devoted to the field exercise itself at and around the radioactive waste storage facility of TAEC. Following the exercise scenario, the participants, who were divided into 2 groups of 4 persons having different tasks (2 persons responsible for the field measurements wearing the adequate personal protection equipment, 1 team leader and 1 communication officer, accompanied by a radiological assessor from the Consortium), were trained and exercised themselves with appropriate equipment for the different phases of the search, identification/characterization and recovery of hidden radioactive sources. Measurement equipment and radioactive sources were kindly made available by TAEC, while the Consortium provided adequate protection equipment for training purposes.
Advices were given all along these two days and, at the end of the exercise, a debriefing was organized, at which all participants provided feedback about the quality of the exercise and possible improvements for conducting the search, identification/characterization and recovery of radioactive sources. All participants were very positive about the field exercise and willing to make use of the experience and knowledge acquired during the field exercise in their respective countries.