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Statistical Modelling Applied to the Contents of Waste Drums

[+] Author Affiliations
Richard K. Bull, Ian Pearman

Nuvia Limited, Didcot, Oxon., UK

Paper No. ICEM2009-16085, pp. 61-65; 5 pages
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 1
  • Liverpool, UK, October 11–15, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4407-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3865-X
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Gamma spectrometry is widely used to determine the radioactive content of waste drums. However, the results of such surveys often result in large numbers of limit-of-detection (LOD) results. In this paper we will show how simple statistical methods can be used to obtain useful information on the average drum activities, even in these unfavourable circumstances. Results from measurements on 60 Co, 152 Eu, 154 Eu activities in drums of waste from decommissioning of the GLEEP reactor suggest that these activities are lognormally distributed with geometric standard deviations (GSD) ranging from 3–4. This statistical model can be used to extract information from 235 U, 234m Pa and 234 Th datasets which show only LOD activity results. In a repository of N drums, each with activity <L, the total activity is clearly <NL. However, we can use the lognormal model to make a much stronger statement about the total waste activity. This model is developed quantitatively in the paper.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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