Determining the suitability of a radiological mobile lab involves various processes that would help compare cost and benefits of putting up the facility. The results of feasibility analysis of setting up a radiological mobile lab in the United Arab Emirates indicate that this lab is necessary in this country. The country has embraced development of nuclear energy to supplement other sources of energy.
This has necessitated development of nuclear power plants in various parts of the country. In order to ensure that these nuclear power plants are operating without posing any form of risk to the public and to its workers, a mobile radiological lab would be needed to detect any radiological emissions from the plant. The lab will be used for the normal running of the nuclear power plants, as well as to counter any form of emergency that may arise within the plant regarding radiological emissions.
Moreover, the facility will be utilized in detecting any radiation coming from industry radiography activities. It is clear that construction of this lab will be costly. The cost can increase or decrease depending on the size of the lab and the expected function. When the lab is expected to work in a larger jurisdiction, then probably a bus would be appropriate when choosing the right vehicle to fit the lab. However, when the jurisdiction is smaller, then a van would be appropriate.
The personnel who are expected to manage the lab while collecting data in the field should have relevant qualifications that would make them work as expected. The lab should be fitted with stationery equipments, equipments for field measurements, data collection and data transfer, and analysis equipments. With the right workforce, the cost incurred in the development of the lab would be recovered when the lab is finally put to task.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the fastest developing economies in the Middle East. This country has seen a sharp rise in business operations a fact that has seen rapid development of various cities across this country. The United Arab Emirates has been the focus of many international traders, especially in the developing countries. African countries and other developing nations are moving east when it comes to their importation and the United Arab Emirates is currently one of the most active business centers on the globe.
The country has also witnessed a sharp rise in the number of tourists who come to visit the country from all over the world. The United Arab Emirates has some of the best landmarks in the world that are attracting international tourists. For instance, Dubai city hosts the tallest building in the world. This is besides other beautiful sceneries that attract tourists.
This increase in population and activities within this country mean that there is a sharp rise in the need for energy. The United Arab Emirates is one of the leading exporters of oil, given its rich oil deposits. The energy from oil is sufficient in meeting various needs of the population. The country also has other sources of energy such as hydroelectric power, geothermal power, wind power, and other renewable sources of energy.
This has helped the country meet the demand for power. However, this developments taking place within this country means that the country must find a sustainable source of energy. The energy must be able to meet the constantly increasing cost of energy that has been witnessed in this country. Nuclear energy offers a solution to this. However, this comes at a cost. Nuclear plants are some of the leading sources of radiation release that is very harmful to the public (International Atomic Energy Agency 2013, p. 129).
This means that there must be mechanisms through which such emissions have to be managed in order to ensure that such plants do not have negative effect to the society. A mobile radiological lab may therefore be very helpful in addressing any possible incidents of radiological emission before the effect can spread to the public. It is therefore important to develop this mobile radiological lab would help assure the public of their security when these plants are in operations in the country.
Definition of Terms
According to Miller (1993, p. 79), a piece of research is always very important not only to the policy makers, but also to learners and other authorities that may find the document relevant. This scholar says that for this reason, there is always a need to ensure that such a report uses terms that may be understood by nonprofessionals who may be lacking the technical knowledge about this field. However, it is also a fact given the scientific nature of this field, some terms cannot be changed from their technical names.
This may be because they are lacking a common name, or changing the name to a simpler one may distort the information. Despite this fact, the need to ensure that the relevant message is passed to the users of this document using terms that they understand. For this reason, the risk and safety officer ought to develop a list of all terms considered as technical in his or her own sense. Anyone reading this document can always refer to this page whenever there is a term that is not clearly understood.
- GPS- geographic positioning system
- Radiological mobile lab- a mobile laboratory specially design to respond to nuclear emergencies within a given region
- NPP- nuclear power plant
- Dose rates- The level of nuclear saturation (alpha, beta and gamma rays)
Mobile Radiological Laboratory
Mobile radiological labs have gained popularity over the recent past. According to Kibonge (2008, p. 86), the government has considered developing mobile radiological labs in various sensitive areas within the country.
Although the venture may be expensive, the ultimate role of the lab and its benefit to the society far much outweigh the cost of putting up the structure. Swaminaran (2005, p. 110) says that setting up a suitable radiological lab would require a heavy investment that would help ensure that the lab is as effective as would be expected.
The above diagram shows an example of a mobile radiological lab. As can be seen, the lab is actually a classy van with the capacity to move at very high speeds whenever there is cause of alarm. Inside the van is a complete radiological lab, with various equipments that have capacity to detect radiological contamination from various locations considered high-risk areas.
Understanding the feasibility of this project is very important. As Remula (2007, p. 91) says, it is very important for an analysis to be conducted to determine the suitability of such a lab before financial commitment is made on such a project. This scholar emphasizes the fact that there should be a clear need for this facility before any commitments are made on developing it. The lab must have a function to perform because it is a possibility that after setting up the lab, it may lack any purpose.
It is a fact that United Arab Emirates is not safe from radiological substances that threatens the environment and humanity alike. This alone is a proof that this lab would be needed. However, a specific task that should be defined before its development should exist. This helps in conducting the feasibility of the project. This research focuses on the development of a suitable radiological lab for United Arab Emirates.
Aim and Objectives of the Research
The aim of this project is to set up the suitable technical requirements and specifications to develop a mobile environmental laboratory to be used for routine operation of NPP and in case of NPP emergencies and other radiological emergencies in the UAE. This project will take into account justification of the work from safety, security, and safeguards prospective. The development of the mobile lab will follow the international standards and IAEA recommendations.
Georgina (2011, p. 45) says that objectives are subsets of aims. In this research, a number of objectives should be fulfilled upon the completion of this project.
- To determine the level of need of a suitable radiological lab in the United Arab Emirates
- To determine the feasibility of starting this project, and clearly state all the benefits, and possible negative consequences of developing the lab
- To determine the current state of affairs in this country in dealing with radiological contamination from various sources
- To determine the level of emission of radiological substances of various large manufacturing plants to the environment
Scope of the Research
The scope in this research is limited to the United Arab Emirates. This research is conducted within this country, and this therefore, means that it is limited in scope to the political, social, and economic status of this country.
The feasibility of this project is based on the economic capacity of the United Arab Emirates, and applying this report in an environment with a different economic status may not yield the same result as the one given in this report. This research is also conducted based on the environmental condition of this country. The research covers all the relevant issues about this country concerning radiological emissions, as well as how they can be mitigated in the context of the United Arab Emirates.
The major task of the mobile radiological lab would be to detect some of the radiations that pose serious challenges to the health of citizens in the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, the lab would have a critical role to play as far as collecting samples of radioactive emissions to ascertaining their harm. For this to happen, the workers of the lab would be charged with conducting field surveys to obtain all the samples of the radiations that could be available in the surrounding.
The lab is limited to finding a solution to radiological emissions in the United Arab Emirates and any other application of the information in this research in a different context should be done with caution. The research was based on this context, and this partly explains the scope of this research. In the actual process of collecting relevant data, the researcher limited data collection to various locations in the United Arab Emirates because of the time and financial constraints.
For this reason, although the report is applicable in the entire country, its best applied in the two cities where the research was conducted. It is therefore, important to take into consideration the scope stated in this section when using this research for the purpose of implementation, as a secondary material or for any other purpose that may be important.
The United Arab Emirates has been experiencing a massive development in various sectors, a sign that there is need for increased sources of energy. Nuclear power plants come as a solution to this. However, researchers have noted that this form of energy can be very dangerous if not managed properly.
This research therefore, focuses on how such plants can operate in this country without posing any serious threat to the society. Murume (2010, p. 54) says that when conducting a research, it is important to ensure that it is a justifiable research whose importance will outweigh the costs of conducting it. It is only through this that a research will be considered justifiable, and worth the expenditure that is invested in it.
Conducting a research on suitable radiological lab for the United Arab Emirates is not only a timely project, but also one, which will help ensure sustainability of the cities, and the entire country. In the current society, there is a rising concern over the threat that is posed to the environment by various human activities. Large manufacturing plants have been confirmed to emit a given amount of radiological wastes into the environment.
Hospitals and other facilities are also contributing to pollution and emission of radiological substances. Dumpsites where garbage is collected are also known to contribute to the pollution of the environment. However, there has not been enough mechanism put in place to help deal specifically with radiological emissions. The government has put a spirited fight to ensure that all harmful wastes are collected and are dumped as appropriate.
However, the United Arab Emirates as a country is yet to develop fully-fledged department that would deal with radiological wastes. The available literature clearly states the need for the government to step up the fight against radiological wastes within the cities (International Atomic Energy Agency 1996, p. 117). However, there are limited numbers of literatures on how radiological mobile lab may be a solution to this issue.
This research therefore, comes in with a comprehensive explanation of the relevance of mobile radiological in the United Arab Emirates. This research focuses on how the mobile radiological labs may be a solution to the environmental concerns raised by previous researchers. The research will not only be important to the policy makers in this country, but also researchers who would be interested in furthering this research.
Students in this and other related fields will also find this report very reliable. According to Jorim (1999, p. 112), research is a multifaceted process that do not just focus on one issue under investigation. A research will always look at the ripple effect that the issue under investigation will cause. As such, this research will be important to various other fields of study as long as the application is based on the scope defined in the section above.
General Information about the Lab
A mobile radiological lab can best be defined in two sections. The first section is the definition of a radiological lab. A radiological lab refers to a laboratory that is meant to detect any radiological emissions from various sources using its special equipments. The laboratory has the capacity to detect and address such radiations as alpha, beta, and gamma rays.
The lab is referred to as a mobile lab because it is always fitted in a van that enables it to move from one location to another detecting any possible radiations in the environment. The contents of this lab are discussed in details in the other parts of this paper. The lab has various functions in the management of radiological emissions.
The mobile radiological laboratory is intended to respond to emergencies involving accidents of nuclear emission. According to Jorim (1999, p. 87), the radiological emissions that occur due to leakages may not have an impact to a larger number of people, especially those who are away from the site of the leak. However, the few people who will be affected will bear a massive impact, lasting for several generations.
The lab is also necessary in the normal operations of the nuclear power plants. Some of these facilities within the plant are known to emit alpha, beta and gamma rays, especially when there is a leakage. This means that there must be clear mechanisms through which such emissions can be managed in the normal running of the plant in order to be assured of the protection of the public. This lab has various other functions as discussed in the chapters below.
It is important to note that although the lab has various other roles, its main purpose is to ensure that there is general preparedness to deal with radiological emergencies within the country. The resent researches have indicated that there is a general lack of preparedness to deal with radiological emergencies in this country. There have been cases where radiological emissions take place without the knowledge of the relevant authorities.
In some extreme cases, the emission would affect a massive number of people, especially those working near the emitters for several days without their knowledge. Some may be aware of the emission but lack of emergency response system would result in a scenario where the accidents are not put to check as soon as may be needed. This results into a scenario where the accident would affect people despite the full knowledge of the relevant authorities.
This mobile radiological lab is meant to address this issue within the entire United Arab Emirates. This mobile lab is supposed to respond to any cases of emergency involving radiological emissions or any other cases of radiological emission within the United Arabs Emirates in various facilities in these cities.
This lab will be installed in a high-speed capacity van that will be expected to move within these cities with the focus on detecting any radiological emissions, especially in places that have been identified as high-risk areas. The lab also has the capacity to deal with any of the radiological emergencies, but within a limited scope. Accidents involving both sealed and unsealed radioactive materials, the radiation generators, and any transport accidents can be addressed by this laboratory.
The laboratory is equipped to respond to these scenarios within the desirable speed in order to curb any negative consequences. The laboratory also has the capacity to manage radiological emissions that may have been caused by acts of terrorism. Although this country has generally been considered safe from such acts of terrorism, this does not eliminate possibilities of terrorists attack. In such cases, this laboratory has the capacity to respond and manage such emergency.
However, it is worth noting that some serious cases of nuclear attacks may be beyond the scope of this laboratory. In such cases, this lab may need some backup in order to manage the situation. Also beyond the scope of this laboratory are cases involving accidents in large nuclear reactants.
Such cases may require larger capacity instruments that can manage the massive emission from such reactants. In such cases, this lab may only be used before the accident to detect abnormal radiations or after such an accident to determine the possibility of radiological elements. This facility is supposed to be managed by the federal authority for nuclear regulation. The leaders of this country are expected to work hand in hand in the management of this laboratory.
The mobile lab would always be on transit from one high-risk area to another, with the aim of detecting any radiological emissions that might not have been identified by the local authorities. In cases where it detects the emission, it would take corrective measures immediately. However, whenever the radiological emission is greater than its capacity, it would relay the message to the radiological management center for appropriate measures to be taken.
Equipments Necessary for the Mobile Laboratory
The mobile radiological lab requires some special equipment that is necessary to ensure that the lab can perform its functions successfully. According to Jorim (1999, p. 117), there are cases where some mobile radiological lab have failed to perform their functions appropriately because of lack of an appropriate equipments. The following are some of the equipments that should be present in order to function appropriately.
The lab will need some of the general stationary equipments. Radiation detector is one of the equipments that would be utilized in detecting the x-rays, gamma particles, and neutron radioactive emissions. The equipment would be of great use in determining the quantities of alpha and beta particles in the samples collected. The radiation detector should be a fixed system with ability of detecting x, gamma, and neutron particles. The radiation detector must have the following components:
- X and gamma radiation probe
- Neutron probe
- Alpha probe
- Beta probe
- Set composed of two sample supports that will allow measuring samples taken from the field in a fixed geometry
- Internal computer system with connection interfaces for data acquisition and transmission
- Application software
- Data acquisition ports-the radiation transducers connect to the internal computer system via USB or RS232 serial interfaces
- The internal computer will acquire data simultaneously from the four transducers.
- Ethernet remote data transmission ports
Equipment for field measurement
The mobile radiological lab should have equipments that are necessary for the normal operations of this laboratory. According to Ray (2006, p. 72), it is always important to ensure that the equipments that are used in the field are of the right quality before going to the field with them.
According to this scholar, managing a mobile radiological lab may be a complex process that requires a lot of attention. Any misstep may lead to serious consequences on the individuals who are involved in managing the lab. The equipments for the field should be of standard quality, and with the ability to meet the demands of the process of detecting and managing radiological emissions. The following field equipments should be available.
- Alpha (α) and Beta (β) Aerosol Monitoring: this is radiation-monitoring equipment used to detect the presence of radiological emissions.
- High Sensitivity Gamma (ɤ) Area Monitoring: used for detecting, identifying and collecting of the gamma rays
- Gamma (ɤ) Spectroscopy Facility: also known as counting labs, are meant for detecting and quantifying radioisotopes
- NaI (TI) and HPGe: also known as high purity germanium detectors is always served by an automatic sample charger in order to facilitate management of large project
- GPS Tracking System: used in giving the exact geographic position where the emission takes place
- Weather Stations: this may be important in monitoring possible changes in weather
- Tritium Monitors: a portable tritium air monitors will be responsible for measuring the air samples for presence of gamma rays
- Survey Instruments: these instruments will perform various functions while in the field during data collection process
- Contamination Monitors that are Portable: they are useful in high sensitivity measurement of alpha, beta and gamma contaminations.
The above equipments for field measurements should always be fitted within the mobile radiological lab whenever it is leaving for any task in the field. They include neutron detector which has digitized multi-channel analyzer, a remote controlled palmtop, a lap top will all the relevant software, a database and a GPS receiver, and LaBr gamma.
Before moving ahead to establish the availability of radiations in the samples, the workers will engage in sample collection before engaging in rigorous process of testing the samples. The major role of the workers will be to manage the samples before testing them. The workers will be charged with the responsibility of managing the samples since they might be containing dangerous radiations. In this regard, care should be taken to ensure that more harm is not caused to the population.
Processing and Information Transfer System
Most of the documents needed in this section have been indicated in sections above. However, more of the equipments that should be installed in this lab exist. They would ensure the efficiency of the lab. RanidPro100 LaBr3 detector shown in the diagram below is very important and it is always fitted next to the seat of the driver.
It serves a great purpose in ensuring that a spatial scrutiny of the site of the occurrence made possible miles away (International Atomic Energy Agency 2000, p. 57). The gamma detectors would help in detecting any presence of gamma rays, while the air sampler will determine the level of air contamination.
This would be recorded to determine the seriousness of such radiation, and if there is a need to manage the emissions immediately. Some other important data collection equipment in this lab is the two air samplers. The two are important in filtering the air as the car moves along the road. This equipment has gamma spectrometer, with a diameter of 76 millimeters that helps in the detection of the rays.
This equipment is shown in diagram 1 above (the two rods protruding at the top of the car). The vehicle should also have a LAN (local area network) connected to main saver. It is also appropriate to fit the van with 3 G-modem which would help in transferring the data from the detectors, and from the vehicle to the main server in an online mode.
UAE Geology Condition
The United Arab Emirates is one of the leading economies in the Middle East region. The country borders The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west, Oman to the northeast and southeast and Qatar to the northwest. The nation is comprised of a number of emirates, with the major one being Abu Dhabi, which accounts for approximately eighty percent of the entire area of the United Arab Emirates.
The country has a very large natural harbor in the city of Dubai along the Persian Gulf. The country also has several islands that have been disputed by such countries as Iran and Qatar. Some of these islands have existed without any of the countries resolving the disputes as their right ownership.
According to the records at the United Nations, most parts of United Arab Emirates is arid or semi arid land. Rainfall is rare in this region, making the country depend on the underground water that exists in the country. For instance, Abu Dhabi is known for its large mass of sand dunes, especially at Rub al-Khali. It is a fact that the barren region in Abu Dhabi has a number of oases, which are sufficient to supply water for farming and domestic use.
Some of the major oasis in this country include Liwa Oasis to the south (nearing the border with Saudi Arabia), and Al-Buraimi oasis on the other side of the border with the Oman. These two oases have helped in providing water for the purpose of cultivation and settlements. The cities that have emerged since this country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1971 have heavily depended on these oases for provision of clean domestic water.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai (and even other smaller states) were known for the sand storms, especially during the dry windy seasons. Given the fact that the country experiences long periods of drought, cases where wind would weep off the soil were very common.
These were more common in the expansive Abu Dhabi, especially on the lands that were not cultivated. However, the government has come up with various measures to help manage this situation. Although the cases are still common, they have been significantly reduced, especially following the effort that the government has made to increase the agricultural production on the land.
Those areas that were previously uncultivated have been put on agriculture, reducing the amount of land that is left idle. The government has been keen on planting trees on the uncultivated land. This has not only helped in holding the soil together to resist wind erosion, but also reduce the speed of wind. Although eliminated, sand storms are experienced in some parts of this country, especially in the regions with large sand dunes.
The weather of the United Arab Emirates has been expressed as subtropical-arid with temperate winters and boiling summer. The months of July and August are perceived as the warmest of all the months, with hotness ranging as high as 40 degrees centigrade. On the mountains of Al Hajar, the heat is lower due to the height.
On average, the nation gets no more than 120 mm on the coastal area whereas in the hilly area this can go up to 250 mm. In the days following summer, rains would come in disparaging shape, always in violent flow, which would lead to overflow on the drier coastal cradles. On drier months, these coastal strips are prone to sudden violent dust storms (Lüsted & Lüsted 2005, p. 94). These are always very destructive, besides the fact that they reduce visibility.
The flora and fauna of this country has adapted to the dry conditions. Most of the agricultural estates that are widespread in this nation comprise of acacia foliage, date palms, and eucalyptus vegetation. They are known for their capacity to withstand drought for a lot period.
In the regions near the oases, there are exotic trees planted to help increase the vegetation cover of the land. The country is also known to grow various crops that can help sustain part of the population of this country. This kind of temperatures is a factor that should be considered when developing a suitable radiological lab in the United Arab Emirates.
As Veenema (2013, p. 57) says, the rate at which radiological emissions travel in hot and dry temperatures is different from what happens in case the environment is lower and more humid. This scholar says that cases of radiological leakages are more common in extreme temperatures, as those found in the United Arab Emirates. The main reason for this is that hot temperatures always make molecules of gas to move at a faster rate and expand.
This makes radiological substances exert more pressure on their containers. If the containers are not strong, enough to hold this increased pressure, then chances of the containers bursting is very normal. The gas would create its way out of its containers, because the increased capacity may not be sully supported by their containers. When the temperatures are such high, the radiological substances can move at greater speed, and this can make it cover greater regions.
Beuchampt (2003, p. 118) says that regions which are considerably dry always experience very strong winds, especially when it has limited trees. Radiological emission can be transferred to larger areas when there are stronger winds. This means that if the radiological emissions take place in the capital of Abu Dhabi, the consequences can reach wider areas such as Dubai and other neighboring states.
It is because of this condition of this country that makes it very necessary to have a radiological mobile lab that will help in early detection and subsequent management of radiological emission within this country. This does not mean that only countries with hot and dry climate should be having a mobile radiological lab. This facility is needed in all other countries having potential risk of radiological emissions. For instance, the Chernobyl accident at the nuclear plant in the then USSR had a massive negative effect on a large population.
This was a case of lack of proper preparedness by the relevant authorities. This incident clearly demonstrates the fact that although the risks to such accidents are perceived to be greater in hotter and drier environments with stronger winds, those regions with relatively cooler temperatures are also prone to such cases. The USSR, currently Georgia and Russia among other states, is one of the coldest regions in the world.
It would be assumed that with such temperatures, such cases would be very rare. However, this accident was a clear demonstration that total safety can only be guaranteed when emergency facilities are put in place to help counter such incidents from occurring. Bodor (2009, p. 89) warns that although the risk may be evenly spread around the world, the impact can be much greater when the temperatures are high due to increased movement of particles.
Effect of the UAE Geology and Climate on the Mobile Lab and Connected Tools
Conducting an analysis on the effect of geology and climatic conditions of a given location is very important. This effect can be analyzed in two ways. The first way of conducting this analysis is based on the possibility of this condition increasing chances of this incident-taking place. The second front of analysis is on the possibility of this climatic and geologic condition affecting the rate of spread of the radiological emissions once it takes place, or hindering the movement of a mobile radiological lab.
The geology and climatic condition may have an effect on mobile radiological lab and the connected tools in various ways. As was stated previously, Abu Dhabi is the largest percentage of land in this country, accounting for up to 87 percent. However, there are various other emirates within this country. The location of these emirates makes it very difficult to construct radiological lab centers, which can help monitor the radiological emissions.
As was stated previously, some parts of the country have large sand dunes. The sand dunes are not appropriate locations for construction of radiological laboratories. This is especially because of the frequent sand storms that may affect the functionality of the lab. This makes some of these regions lack proper facilities for detecting and managing radiological emissions. In such regions, development of mobile radiological lab becomes an inevitable as a way of ensuring that the public is kept safe.
As was mentioned previously, the climatic condition of this country is hot and dry. Along the coastal line, this condition is hot and humid. Although there are no cases that can directly be used as references as places where radiological accident took place due to hot temperatures, researchers have indicated that hot temperatures increases the risk of such an accident-taking place.
This was categorically explained in the section above, of how the particles of air will become more volatile, making them move rapidly. It may therefore, be right to suppose that the hot climatic condition of the United Arab Emirates is a threat to the society living in or around places considered as high risk areas. This high risks increases the need to have a fully equipped mobile radiological lab that has the capacity to respond to cases of emergency in case it occurs.
The second phase of this analysis can be done from the perspective that the geology and climatic condition of this country increasing the spread of radiological emissions or hindering the movement of the mobile radiological lab. By now, it is very clear that the hot temperatures in this country are a threat in case a radiological accident was to happen in this country.
According to the research conducted by ASTM Subcommittee (1990, p. 19), the consequences of a radiological emission can be very devastating in case it takes place. This is so because of the temperature. High temperatures can pose serious threat to the locals and people living in nearby areas.
However, there is a positive aspect to these high temperatures in case it takes place. Just like it will be easy for the particles of a radiological emission to travel, so does it become much easier to detect the emissions either from the radiological management center or from a mobile radiological lab. As such, relevant authorities can take preventive measures to help salvage the situation before it can reach unmanageable levels.
The geological set-up of the country makes it a little more difficult for radiological emissions for the particles to move from one locality to the other because the United Arab Emirates has a number of states, with some being in the dessert (2003, p. 79). For instance, any radiological emissions that might have resulted from a plant in Dubai may not have very devastating effect on the city of Dibba because of the geographical distance. This is due to the kind of terrain the emission will have to travel in order to reach the other end of the town.
Mobile radiological lab may not function properly when the areas it has to work has dry lands, such as desserts. As was explained before, this lab is fitted in a van and this means that this lab can only move on proper land, which can allow the proper movement of the car.
However, when the area is characterized by several states, with some being in dry lands, it becomes complex for the car to move in all these regions. It would require the concerned officials to allocate a van to each state in order to facilitate all the radiological needs in that particular area.
This can be very uneconomical, especially given the fact that the radiological emissions can take years before they occur. This would mean that for that particular period, this van would be lying idle in that particular state. The geology of this country may have both positive and negative consequences to the normal operations of a mobile radiological lab. According to Allena (2006, p. 58), a mobile radiological lab operates well within a wormer region than in extremely cold temperatures.
The main function of this lab is to detect any radiological substance that could be present in a particular environment, and if possible, managing such emissions as fast as possible in order to avert the negative consequences it can cause to the people living around that region. If the emission were of a greater scope that the lab cannot manage, then a communication would be made to the center for the relevant authorities to bring back-up forces that would be able to manage the situation.
Given the hot temperatures in this country, coupled by the movement of air makes it easy for the detectors to pick the particles of radiological emissions even when the radiation has taken place several miles away. This means that this lab will be more efficient than when it were to operate in a cold environment.
However, this geological and climatic condition of this country may bring some negative consequences to the normal operations of this van. The common dust that has been witnessed in various parts of this country may lower the functionality of effectiveness of the employees. The dust would easily accumulate on the metal detectors, making it difficult for employees to detect radiological emissions.
There are occasions where some parts of the country would experience accumulation of sand dunes, which is a problem to employees as well. This may be serious in cases where the lab has to go to the field that does not have a proper road network. In some severe occasions, the lab can be buried by this sand, not only resulting into the lab getting stuck in the sand, but also a possible delay in delivering the much needed service to the public.
It should be noted that the functionality of the lab would not be affected, but rather employees would not have an opportunity to executive their duties. When such cases are reported, then the officers will shy away from fieldwork. Most of them will prefer staying at the center, which is considered easier to manage. The few who will be willing to go to the field will always take a lot of precaution to ensure that the lab is not stuck in the sand and this may divide their attention in the field.
This will make them less efficient, as they will always take most of their time looking for safer routes where the van cannot be stuck instead of positively focusing on the need to ensure that the lab functions at the optimum levels. The extreme temperatures may also affect the normal operations of some of the tools and equipments in the lab.
The following is a comprehensive budget for development of a mobile radiological lab. It also includes the costs that would be incurred when recruiting qualified personnel who will be responsible for managing the lab. In this budgeting plan, the items that are needed will be identified, and the relevant authorities will approve them.
The items prices may vary depending on the vendor that would be selected in purchasing the products. In this stage, all the items that are needed are listed. The following are some of the equipments that are needed for a successful development of a mobile radiological lab
- The van
- Field Equipments
- Peripheral Equipments
- Data collection equipments
- Construction of the lab
- Certification cost
- Cost of labour
- Cost of transporting equipments
- Quality assurance cost
- Cost of testing the lab
- Miscellaneous costs
- Temporary Workers
- Base wage inc. loading (p/h)
- Superannuation 9% (p/h)
- Payroll tax 5.5% (p/h)
- Workers compensation (p/h)
- Total (p/h)
Total (each temp – 9 days)
Total for 6 temps
- Assessment centers supplies
- Assessment centers food and beverages
Note 1: The costs of instruments will involve the purchase of a van (most preferably of Mercedes S Model ), the purchase of the field equipments (the equipments may be imported from the United States or China), the peripheral and data collection equipment (these may be purchased from the local dealers)
Note 2: The following are some of the tests which will be used, and their respective prices obtained from the websites of companies from where the right materials can be purchased:
- Online Challengeconsulting.com.au for van – the alphanumeric test: Price
- Professional verbal Response will be done with the help of CareerOne: Price
Note 3: The temporary HR staffs will be hired in order to select the most qualified officers to help in the normal running of the lab once it is ready for use. These officers will be paid under clerks. These officials are expected to have the right educational background and experience in this field that will make them be paid under level 5 of this award. These officers will be sourced from various fields by the radiological centre officials.
Note 4: 50 candidates will pass through Assessment centre. They will be provided with pens and paper to take notes during the exercise. The approximate cost: Lunch and refreshment will be offered to the assessors and the 50 during the process. This will be in the radiological centre office at an approximate cost: Drinks shall be offered on all days at a cost:
Recruitment Costs Breakdown
|Aerial survey team||Radiological monitoring team||Radionuclide identification team||Source recovery team||Assessment and advisory team||TOTAL|
Costs of hiring other officials relevant for the operation of the lab
|Test Selection costs|
|EST||DET||PST & LAB||BIT &BDT||MST &RPT|
|Data Entry test|
|Acer Select Verbal|
|Acer select Numerical|
|Skill check computer literacy (hardware/software)|
|Abstract reasoning test|
|Total per candidate|
EST: Emergency Sampling Team
DET: Decontamination Team
PST: In Plant Survey Team
LAB: Laboratory Facility – Team
BIT: Bioassay Team
BDT: Biodosimetry Team
MST: Medical Support Team
RPT: Radiopathology Team
Main Tasks of the Radiological Mobile Lab
The main tasks include the following:
- Fieldwork: Moving out to collect samples for further testing
- Detect the low and high level of radiation
- Information provision
- Sample collection
- Working in emergency situation
- Use it for safety
The radiological mobile lab will play an important role in this country. As was stated in the discussions above, the United Arab Emirates is developing very fast. The country has developed various facilities that are meant to improve life in this society, including nuclear plants.
However, researchers have confirmed that some of the facilities used in this country have the potential of emitting radiological substances that may be very dangerous to the general well being of the people of this country. Learning from the experiences of Japan and the then USSR, it is clear that the effect of radiation can be very devastating if it is not taken care of with the urgency it requires.
Japan suffered a nuclear bomb attack from the United States and the effects of this incident are still being felt today. There are still cases of children born with some strange medical complication, and the medics have blamed this on the exposure people had on this nuclear radiation from the attack. In the Union of the Soviet States, there was an accident in the nuclear plant, which resulted into a massive emission of poisonous gases into the environment.
The main casualty was the public, especially those who were living near this plant. In these two cases, there was a clear demonstration of lack of preparedness by the relevant authorities to manage the radiation. The incident happened when these authorities least expected it, and it was difficult to come up with preventive mechanism.
In the 21st century, various nations around the world have come to appreciate the importance of having mechanisms of dealing with such radiological emissions in order to protect the public. The first attempt that was made in fighting radiological emissions was the development of radiological laboratory centers in various locations that were thought to be prone to radiological emissions.
This was a good move, but it was realized that radiological emissions might take place at very lower rates that the radiological centers could not detect. It was therefore, necessary to develop a mobile lab that would move from one region to another, detect even smaller radiations, and prevent them from negatively affecting the public. This resulted into the development of mobile radiological lab. The following are some of the specific tasks for this lab.
Safety, Security, and Safeguard Uses of Mobile Lab in Normal Operation of NPP
As was mentioned before, this lab will be used to ensure that the society is not subjected to radiological emission from various possible sources. This lab will be used to maintain radiation safety, nuclear safety and safeguard.
One of the main tasks that this firm is expected to perform is to ensure safety in the usage of nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. According to Hashemian (2006, p. 42), the plants may pose threat in two ways. This lab should be ready to respond to such emergency with speed in order to arrest the situation before it can spread to larger regions and affect more people.
It is important to note that such accidents can always be averted when there is a close inspection of the nuclear power plants regularly. Another way can be slow emissions that may take place due to a small leakage. Researchers have confirmed that such leakages are very common, and their effects are always very devastating because it takes long to realize that there is a leakage. There is a possibility that a plant can have a leakage for a whole year without the realization by the relevant authorities.
In such cases, individuals working in such plants would have a prolonged period of constant exposure to the radiological emissions. This would have serious negative consequences to their health. If such a leakage is not arrested in time, the impact can spread to other neighboring areas. In order to achieve this, the lab will use such detectors as X and gamma radiation probe, Neutron probe, Alpha probe, Beta probe and a set composed of two sample supports that will allow measuring samples taken from the field in a fixed geometry
This laboratory is not only relevant in maintaining radiological safety, but also in ensuring that there is nuclear safety at the nuclear power plant.
As was noted above, there are cases where nuclear emissions may occur at the nuclear power plant, when nuclear products are on transit or when they are under storage. The mobile radiological lab will help in detecting cases of nuclear emissions in such places in order to safeguard the public. The lab will be part of the emergency response system that would help in fighting nuclear substances from affecting the public.
This lab have system to save the information security and have special path to send the information to the main operation center. Instruments such as GPS Tracking System used in giving the exact geographic position where the emission takes place, a portable tritium air monitors responsible for measuring the air samples for presence of gamma rays, and survey instruments used in the field during data collection process.
Another important function of this lab will be to safeguards radiological materials while on transit or under storage. This lab can be used to make sure that the nuclear materials are safe from the time they reach the port to the storage. This safety will be closely monitored during the offloading of the materials at the port, the process of transportation to the nuclear power plant, and the process of storing the materials at the plant.
In addition to that, it will be used to ensure that the place is safe even after nuclear material shall have been used as fuel. This lab have germanium detector to detect very low level of radiation that will help to know the shipment. In addition, this lab will have accounting system to measure the amount of the nuclear material to make sure that the number or amount of the income of nuclear material is same the outcome.
This mobile lab may also be useful for personal screening. Radiological emissions may take place without the knowledge of the relevant authorities. There are cases where individual firms may be exposed to radiation from their plants due to the kind of substances they use. This is common among the pharmaceutical firms, engineering plants, in hospitals among other large manufacturing plants. These plants are supposed to operate without any threat to the workers of possible emissions of radioactive substances.
In order to ensure that this threat is eliminated, there must be clear mechanism that would help in closely monitoring possible emissions if the radiations. In such plants, it is common to have radiological emissions without the firms realizing. This is because the emissions may be taking place in very small quantities that the workers may not realize without the aid of specialized workers with special equipments.
In order to avoid such cases, these firms would need frequent screening in order to get assured of the security of the workers in the plants. These firms may therefore order for personal screening of their facilities from time to time. The mobile radiological lab would play a pivotal role in this task. It can be assigned the task of screening these plants regularly to enhance their safety.
Information Provider for Decision Makers
Federal authority for nuclear regulation will be the sole provider of information that will be gathered by this lab. This body will determine the relevant authorities that should be given this information based on their needs.
The policy makers heavily rely on the information they receive from various reliable sources. Issues concerning the radiological emissions involve various departments of government and non-governmental institutions. These departments need reliable information to make decisions that would affect the society directly in one way or the other.
The department of health will need reliable information about the radiological emissions emitted by some of the instruments they purchase for use in the hospitals. The hospital will need the services of a radiological lab in order to determine the level of radiological emissions of some of the instruments that are to be used on patients or in the normal operations of the hospital. Radiological emissions of the instrument may be considered undesirable beyond a given limit.
The management of these hospitals would rely on the information from this lab in order to make purchase decision. For this reason, the lab would be expected to give an accurate level of radiological emissions the instruments have. When the emissions are within the permissible limits, then the instrument shall be authorized. Otherwise, the management would consider purchasing other instruments with lower emissions.
Environmental conservation groups have been very active in this country. Such organizations as the Green Belt Movement have been given the full support by the government of the United Arab Emirates to help conserve the environment. The need to conserve the environment is very great in this country because of its arid nature.
These organizations have therefore been trying to ensure that this country is protected from further destruction of an already delicate environment. These environmental conservation organizations have been responsible for inspecting operations of various firms in this country in order to ensure that their activities do not pose serious threat to the environment.
When plants such as the nuclear power plants are to be constructed, these bodies must give approval that their construction may not be a threat to the environment. These environmental agencies must rely on information from the lab in order to ensure that the plants would be safely operated. Before they can approve a construction of any plant that is known for emission of radiological emission, they must determine the levels of emissions by such a firm I order to determine if it is permissible.
The government through the departments of health and that of commerce would also need the report from a radiological mobile lab before a foreign firm can be given the permit to operate within the country. The tools and equipment of such a firm would be screened for possible emission of the radioactive substances and this report would form the basis of approving the firm or not.
As Baeumler (2006, p. 67) says, policy makers always need a reliable source of information upon which their decision are made. The policy makers decisions would affect the country at larger, and it is therefore, important that they have a reliable source of information. This is what this mobile radiological lab strives to achieve.
Using Mobile Lab during the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plant
As was mentioned above, nuclear power plants are important aspect of development projects in the society. The United Arab Emirates is yet to come up with proper mechanisms through which this nuclear energy can be tapped. Projects are still underway to produce enough energy from nuclear plants to support the domestic energy needs. It is therefore, true that various authorities are working together to promote these projects.
However, it is clear that the safety and security of the Emirati citizens is given priority over any other development projects. All these projects are meant to ensure that life of people is protected from any possible man made calamities. For this reason, the nuclear power plants are always monitored closely to ensure that they do not pose any serious risk to the health of the members of the society.
The mobile radiological lab plays a very important role in determining the viability of a nuclear power plant. The power plant can only be considered viable if its benefits outweigh the costs of maintaining it. A mobile radiological lab will be playing a number of functions in determining the viability of the project. The first and the most important are to determine the possibility of health risk that the nuclear power plant poses to the public.
The power plant should be a direct threat to the society. When there is a serious threat that the plant posses to the public, it should be decommissioned as soon as possible. The radiological lab can only determine the report about the level of threat such a nuclear plant poses to the public. In this case, it will be acting in the interest of the public.
Another way in which the radiological lab will help in decommissioning a nuclear power plant is by determining the cost that is necessary to maintain the plant. Given the fact that nuclear power plants are some of the areas considered to have high potential to pollute the environment, it is always necessary to have the lab making frequent visits.
In every visit, there will be a report tabled on the efficiency of the lab, and how safe its existence to the environment. Whenever there is a detection of radiological emissions detected by the lab, a communication would be made to the relevant authorities in the government and the management of the plant.
This communication may also be shared by the nongovernmental organization that is responsible for the protection of the environment in one way or the other. Every time such a report is made, the management of the plant is expected to remedy the problem, and they will compile the budget for this in order to determine the cost. The radiological lab would be expected to make regular visits at the desired intervals and give their report to the relevant authorities.
If the subsequent reports indicate that, the plant is operating optimally without any threat to its workers and to the public, then the plant would be considered viable. However, when subsequent reports indicate that there is still some concern that needs to be addressed, then cost effectiveness of the entire project will be conducted.
This would be conducted in two stages. The first stage in which this would be done would be to determine the potential risk the plant has to the public. If the mobile lab determines that there is a potential risk the lab poses to the environment, then the plant would be decommissioned immediately.
However, if the lab shows that the public does not face a serious threat despite the constant issues from the plant, then the cost analysis would be done on the maintenance of the plant. The relevant authorities would calculate the annual cost of keeping the plant running, including the cost of constant repairs whenever an issue is identified. This cost would then be compared with the earning that is generated from running the plants.
Naturally, it would be expected that the costs of running the plant should be lower than the profits that is generated from the project. When the costs are higher than the net earnings, then the power plants would be considered fir for decommissioning because of lack of viability. This makes a mobile radiological lab an important tool in managing the nuclear power plants efficiently and profitably. This lab can also be used to monitor the process of decommissioning of the nuclear power plant parts such as:
- Swimming pool
- Storage area
- Primary and secondary loop
National and International Standards Requirements in Planning and Developing Stage of the Mobile Radiological Lab
The national standards for the operation of mobile radiological lab are equivalent to the international provisions. They include the following:
- Quality assurance whereby the organization should address the following issues
- Accountability as well as coming up with a strong organizational structure that would facilitate error free environment
- Continuous performance of audit to ensure that everything is in place
- Responding to any problem without delay meaning that the nuclear unit ought to be responsive
- Efficient communication between the junior and senior officers
- Self Assessment, which entails the adoption of the following strategies
- Setting up of self-assessment programs in the organization
- Ownership of the program and facilitating accountability
- Undertaking corrective measures to resolve the existing problems through application of the following strategies
- Data collection and review of events, such as near misses
- Setting up corrective programs
- Clear documentation
- Conducting research to establish the root causes of issues
- Third party assessment is the last standard, which entails the incorporation of the following strategies:
- Utilization of the results obtained from the regulatory bodies
- Undertaking of site corrective measures
Mobile radiological lab is very important, but needs a lot of keenness to ensure that it is developed in the right standards. There are international standards that are set to ensure that such labs are of the right quality, and that they meet the basic requirements that would enable them perform their functions as expected.
According to Lejzerovič (2005, p. 93), if the lab fails to meet the set standards, then there is risk that it may fail to operate successfully in the field. In some extreme cases, an ineffective radiological mobile lab can be a source of danger instead of being a solution. A mobile radiological lab is expected to meet these international standards before it can be certified to start operations. In the United Arab Emirates, the national standards have been set in accordance with the international standards.
Radiological mobile lab is relatively a new development in this country. For this reason, the relevant bodies still rely heavily on specifications set by the international bodies. These standards are universal and specifically meant to ensure that the radiological lab does not turn into liability once it is released into the field. The safety of the users of this lab can only be assured if the lab is developed based on the clearly set standards.
The international standards requirement for planning and development of a mobile radiological lab first insists on the equipments that should be available before the lab can be constructed. According to Johnson (2012, p. 18), these equipments must be available in order to ensure that the lab will have the capacity to function properly.
These standards describe all the stationery equipments that should be made available in order to make this lab a reality. These stationery equipments have been discussed in the sections above. These standards are very specific on the equipments for field measurements.
Lastly, the standards also define collection, the processing and the information transfer systems that should be put in place. These equipments should be put in place before the relevant authorities can consider starting the process of constructing the lab. The international standards define the range within which the lab should be able to capture any form of radiological emissions while in operations.
Although the lab may need to enter a nuclear power plant in order to detect the exact source of radiological emissions, it should be able to detect a possible radiological emission within a specific radius depending on the strength of the instruments used and the size of the lab. The standards also explain the academic qualifications that the concerned individuals should have before they can be considered fit enough to go into the field for an operations.
There is need to ensure that individuals who are sent to the field have a specific knowledge that can enable them perform specific tasks without compromising their security and that of others. These standards are expected to protect the users of the lab and the public, besides performing the assigned tasks. The standards should be emphasized on without any compromise, including the qualification of the staff.
Risk and Safety Management of the Mobile Lab
The first step in risk and safety management as far as radiation is concerned entails identifying the potential risks. The organization might strain to combat any effect of radiation, yet it does not exist. It is therefore upon the management to conduct a review on the magnitude of radiation before moving on to establish the possible solution. One it is suspected that radiation has occurred, the risk and safety officers should establish whether contamination actually exists.
Research shows that many cases of radiation are usually suspected cases, but they turn out to be something different. The first task would therefore to search the lost sources of radiation, which might be unshielded or sealed in their containers. In this process of identification, risk and safety officers have a range of instruments to utilize, including sodium-iodide detector, which would provide valuable information regarding the presence of any radioactive particles.
This instrument is so efficient in terms of ascertaining the presence of radioactive particles, but other instruments could be used as substitutes, including Geiger-Muller (GM) and proportional counter instruments. The substitutes are not as efficient as sodium-iodide since they do not measure the sensitivity of gamma emitters in the 1 MeV power range.
In establishing the quantities of gamma, the use of sodium-iodide and other substitutes could not achieve the desired results since they rely on energy in a range of gamma energies. Based on this, it demands a lot of training since a non-trained responder would not detect the presence of this form of radiation. For a non-trained official, the use of detection instruments is highly encouraged instead of relying on measuring instruments.
When conducted measurements of gamma particles, the use of energy compensated tools is encouraged since they have a uniform response, ranging from 50 keV and above. Additionally, these types of instruments make use of energy compensated GM tubes, ionization chambers, plastic scintillations and proportional counters. Therefore, any measuring instrument should have the ability of measuring gamma doses at the rate of 1_Svh-1 and above.
GM-tubes tools are often used in identifying gamma particles since they are smaller and lighter. Moreover, they have audio output, which would help in the identification of the radiation. Energy compensated GM instruments are also preferred, but they do not measure gamma and X ray energies that are under 50 keV meaning that they are unable to detect any gamma and X rays. Ionization chamber tool is the best since it is easy to use, especially in cases of low gamma dose.
However, they are easily affected by high temperatures implying that they are not robust. They are best applied in gamma energies that are below 10 keV, which is critical in measuring radionuclide particles, such as I-125. Studies show that this instrument can as well be applied in measuring beta doses.
In establishing the beta doses, the use of ionization chambers is recommended, even though they are not common as compared to gamma emitters. Contamination resulting from beta particles is often encountered in accidents that entail radiopharmaceuticals, as well as leakages resulting from sealed gamma particles.
This is common in agricultural and industry productions. The use of GM tubes and beta scintillation is encouraged in this case. The use of these instruments could be problematic in case damages are caused to the window. This might to failure of the tools or even light sensitivity.
Just like beta contaminants, x ray doses and their associated contaminants are common in radiopharmaceuticals. X-ray contamination is very dangerous and needs a cautious approach meaning that a wipe sample should be tested and the officials should continuously monitor the situation. Alpha contamination is the most difficult to detect and measure since its particles travel a very short distance in the air.
In fact, nothing can detect alpha particles, not even a thin layer of water blood or water. However, technological developments have encouraged the invention of more powerful instruments that could detect and measure the effects of alpha particles. For any person to use these specialized tools, extensive training is needed. Some of the instruments include a thin windowed zinc-sulphide. The risks include:
- Explosion: One of the major risks that ought to be taken care of is explosion. In this case, some of the bomb experts should be incorporated into the program to help in the identification of possible explosives. This would safeguard the crew against the danger of harmful risks resulting from explosives.
- Radiation: As the crew goes on with its functions, there is a high possibility that radiation may take place due to the chemicals being carried for testing nuclear particles. In this regard, the personnel are urged to conduct sensing since they are aware of the limits required.
- Chemical reaction: The crew is urged to take great care when testing chemicals since some are highly reactive to light and other environment. Since there is a possibility of reaction, the crew ought to identify some of the reactive chemicals before keeping them. As earlier noted, proper labeling is needed to avoid any disaster.
The organization needs to conduct a critical review of the risk to establish its effects on the operation of the business. Some risks have great impacts while others can be managed without necessarily raising serious challenges. Regarding radiation, its effects are great meaning that the organization needs to come up with measures that would cope with this catastrophe since it can result to serious loses in the organization.
Based on this, two methods of risk evaluation exist, one of them being subjective or qualitative while the other is objective or quantitative review. The two methods are both valid meaning that risk and safety officials should apply both of them in identifying the potential effects of radiations on the performance of the organization. Subjective or qualitative review entails collecting the views of experts in the field without necessarily revisiting previous data.
The effects of the risk are assessed without relying on the written records meaning that the current experts are simply requested to give their opinions. This is very important since it provides first hand information that would be critical in identifying the potential effects of a risk. On the other hand, quantitative or objective evaluation involves a review of literature on the potential effects of a particular risk.
The effects of radiation are always great, which have force many scholars to conduct studies to establish the possible solutions. Objective analysis is not relied as the only evaluation method since information regarding some of the recent risks can be missing. Due to improved technology and inventions in the world of science, instruments used in detecting and measuring radiations are always sophisticated.
Concerning quantitative analysis of a risk, some variables are always analyzed to evaluate the occurrence of the risk. One such variable is frequency, which is measured from zero to one whereby the two figures represent the extreme. Figure one shows that the risk would definitely happen while zero shows that a particular risk would not happen.
However, when conducting an analysis of the risk, the two figures are not considered because they represent the two extremes. If the chances of a risk occurring is closer to high, then it means that the chances are high while the chances of an event occurring would be less in case it is closer to zero.
Quantitative analysis demands that previous records are checked before determining the probably of occurrence. Regarding the occurrence of radiations, the previous records from various organizations in United Arab Emirates would be assessed. The records should be adjusted to reflect the increased usage of nuclear energy. For a proper analysis to be conducted, the occurrence of nuclear accidents would be computed from the records and then it figure would be divided by the events.
Another variable to be considered is the severity of the risk. This pertains to the loss that the risk would have on the business. Risks are difficult to assess in case they result to physical injuries.
Radiations are believed to cause serious damages to human life, including affecting the operations of some body parts. The loss of an employee or the loss of lungs could be difficult to value. An organization would cease to exist if it loses some properties, including buildings. Radiations have severe effects on the operations of the organization since they affect both human and capital resources.
When evaluating the cost of radiations, the safety and risk officers should think of whether the organization would be ready to relocate after the occurrence of the risk or it would be possible to establish new structures. Expected value of the risk is an additional variable to be considered once an organization is faced with an issue of radiation.
This variable takes considers the frequency of the threat and its strictness. If for instance, the frequency of radiation is 0.01 and the damage it would have on the organization is $ 1000000, the expected value would be calculated as 0.01*1000000, which would amount to $ 10000. It should be remembered that all eventualities are often considered when calculating the expected value. The following table serves as an example of the record of radiation occurrence.
Evidence of emission costs
|Value of damage||Probability of occurrence|
|>0 < 100||0.002|
From the above information, the predictable figure would be computed as:
Predictable Value calculation
|Value||Mid-point||Probability||Probability x mid point|
|>0 < 100||500||0.002||5.0|
It is not always common to find variations in the figure since the expected loss could sometimes be similar, even though raw figures could be different. In case this happens, standard deviation is employed to compute the exact expected loss. This represents the difference between raw data and the expected loss. Therefore, the data would be varying, but expected loss would be similar.
Expected Value Calculations
|Figure||Mid-point||possibility||Probability x mid-point|
The standard deviation of the figures in the above table would be realized by finding the squares of the mean of the range of figures and multiply them with the possibility of the occurrence of the emission. The following chart explains these estimates:
|Probability x mid-point||Square of Probability x mid-point||Expected value squared||Difference|
|Square root of variance||=Standard deviation||185.609132|
Qualitative/Subjective Risk Assessment
Risk and safety officials cannot simply rely on previous data to evaluate the effects of the risk because of the validity of such data. Terms, such low, medium, and high, are often used in objective descriptions, yet their meanings are abstract. For instance, one organization could consider a risk high while a similar risk could be considered low in another organization.
Additionally, these terms cannot combine well to give a risk score. In subjective analysis, definition of these terms is high encouraged to allow policy makers to come up with the scores. The following tables show subjective definition of terms.
Severity of Risk
|Severity||influence on aims||influence on material goods||private wound|
|1||Does not impinge on objectives||Not more than 20% of the firm’s material goods damaged.||small scratches and contusions|
|2||decreases the likelihood of attaining the managerial aims by 25%||At least 20% to 40% of the firm’s material goods spoiled||wounds which would mean that an employee is given off-duty of at least three days|
|3||Reduce the possibility of achieving the organizational objectives by 50%||Between 40% and 75% of the firm’s property being damaged||Wounds that entail at least 18 months recuperation time and at least 3 days off work, and a loss of a finger or toe|
|4||decreases the option of attaining executive aims by 75%||At least 75 to 100% of the organization’s material goods being spoiled||Loss of an eye, loss of earshot, an appendage, hands or foot|
|5||decreases the opportunity of realizing executive aims by 100%||Total loss of all material goods||Paraplegia, bereavement|
Contingency plan and business continuity
While operating a business, the management should always ensure that customers are retained even after a major disaster, such as those related to radiations. In fact, research shows that contingency planning and ensuring that the business continues after a major disaster are the two unavoidable and essential tasks of any management. The major problem pertains to the drafting of a sound contingency plan that would ensure continuity of the business.
It is not an easy process since it entails a number of stages and discrete activities. Radiations have great impacts on both humans and property. In this regard, the management should conduct an extensive study to establish the potential impacts of the disaster. Once potential impacts of a disaster are established, it would be upon the management to draft its contingency strategies based on them.
The plan should be far from trivial meaning that it should be realistic, unlike some of the contingency plans, which are impracticable. Once the contingency plan is in place, the management should always ensure that systems are tested and maintained to make sure that they are up to date.
One of the contingency plans would be analyzing the impact of the radiology on the performance of the business. Each type of the radiation would be assessed carefully to determine its effects on human and capital resources.
However, the organization would not have any idea of planning in case it does not even know the potential effects of radiations on people and company property. Once a plan is generated, the organization should look for possible ways to ensure that the information is safely guarded. In many occasions, the data could be unavailable when it is most needed.
To avoid such a scenario, the management should come up with software to store the important data and avoid any inconveniences. The mostly utilized software is the BCP generator, which has the ability of storing data safely for a long period. The software has the capability of recovery of relevant data in case it is lost. With the help of the software, contingency planning and continuity would be successful.
The software simplifies the contingency planning process. Some scholars suggest that contingency planning and business continuity after the disaster relies on contingency auditing and assurance. Auditing should be conducted frequently to ensure that the systems are in operational. The management should therefore conduct periodic checks on various sections of the business.
As previously noted, risk analysis is an important stage of contingency planning. This entails establishing the magnitude of the risk, which would indeed lead to greater loses in the organization. Once the management conducts a critical analysis of the systems and instruments, it would be in a position to determine which scenarios are likely to occur first. Those that seem to threaten the performance of the organization should be addressed first while those that have minor effects would be checked afterwards.
Quality Control and Assurance
To ensure the standards are marinated in the facility, the management will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that certain measures are taken into consideration. These include the following:
- Undertaking equipment calibration whereby the management brings in experts to ensure that all the equipments mentioned in the previous chapters are working
- Maintenance programs should be put up to ensure that nothing goes wrong. This would include:
- Continuous battery check
- Periodical checks
- Workers should be engaged in continuous training to sharpen their skills. For this to happen, the management will ensure that old workers are mixed with the youth as they undertake their responsibilities
Quality assurance and quality control programs are very important for the organization since it allows the management to collect meaningful information regarding the performance of the firm. Quality assurance entails a number of managerial and technical practices that often generated to ensure a product delivered to the user is of high quality.
This implies that the delivered service or product should suit its purpose or in other words, it should satisfy the consumer. In field of safety and risk management, quality assurance plays a critical role since the information gathered would allow the management to conduct an adequate, scientific interpretation of data, which would allow the generation of credible decisions that would reduce the risks facing the personnel and the environment in general.
Quality control on the other hand is an aspect of quality assurance, which entails conducting a review on the organizational operations, with a specific aim and goal. This goal is usually referred to as data quality objectives. For the radiological lab, the main concern would be to conduct a quality control review whereby relevant data would be collected, assessed, and would further utilized in the making of sound policies to ensure that risks associated with radiations are eliminated.
When the organization makes and implements quality assurance and quality control policies , it is assured of productive control process, as well as presenting errors that would have been made, which facilitates the computation of the variance. The management will be engaged in a thorough process of quality assurance by following the established guidelines in order to achieve high results. This would encourage commitment, which would further facilitate disaster preparedness and management.
The first thing to do would be to consider the study issues regarding radiation. Based on this, the first aspect would be to generate a clearly defined objective to enable proper sampling of programs. The staff should be involved in the process to ensure that they remain acquainted with the programs of the organization.
Each person is assigned a program to conduct a certain study on it. When conducting the sampling of programs, the quality assurance officer would ensure that the design generated is based on statistical concepts. This means that each step of program sampling complies with the established protocols.
Regarding the various field activities, the samples of radiations should be labeled to ensure that they are not confused. The labeling should be simple meaning that the exact date is provided, the place of manufacture, the time of production, and even the individual who did the sampling. Instruments used in the sampling process should be checked and be serviced regularly. This would be done through calibration to ensure that maintenance logs are retained.
Experience and qualification of the workers
Employees working in mobile radiological lab should be highly trained to prevent any causalities resulting from employee inexperience. In this regard, they should be familiar with operating the radiological mobile lab detectors, including the following:
- Alpha (α) and Beta (β) Aerosol Monitoring
- High Sensitivity Gamma (ɤ) Area Monitoring
- Gamma (ɤ) Spectroscopy Facility
- NaI (TI) and HPGe:
- GPS Tracking System
- emission takes place
- Weather Stations
- Tritium Monitors
- Survey Instruments
Their training material should focus on evaluating the effects of radioactive emissions. The employee needs to understand the basic structure of the atom, define the units of measures, the various forms of ionization radiation, and the units used in measuring radiations.
Since radiations are known to have serious biological effects, any safety and risk management officer should be familiar with various sources of radiations, the effects that radioactive atoms have on human cells, the acute and chronic doses of radiations, the prenatal exposure to radiations, and the various risks. Regarding knowledge on radiation limits, the employee ought to be familiar with the dose limits, some of the administrative controls, the levels allowed by the regulatory bodies, and his or her safety.
Therefore, a specific procedure will be employed in hiring workers, one of them being reviewing their skills to check whether they are appropriate. Workers interested in being members of staff in the mobile radiological lab should understand that precautionary measures are critical as far as their safety is concerned. Any slightest mistake would result to serious injuries or even death. This would be disastrous to the company since legal tussles would ensue.
In case an emergence crops up in the radiological lab, the personnel should be able to enforce rapid response actions to guarantee their safety. Therefore, it would be the role of the management to ensure that safety information is availed to each employee to prevent the occurrence of any risk.
For the employee to be recruited, he or she should be aware that acceptance of any risk is a personal decision, which requires an informed consent. Even in national and international standards, risks that are closely related to occupational radiation doses are tolerable, even though the risks could be extremely high.
As witnessed from the above analysis, it is clear that the crew that was engaged in data collection and analysis were competent individuals who managed to deliver quality work on the assignment that was given to them. With the mobile radiological lab ready for its purpose, the next important event was to put it into a practical test. The following are some of the findings:
- It was not necessarily important for the crew to perform the task of detecting and managing the radiological emission during the first mission. What was important was to test the applicability of the lab, and the efficiency. It was important to determine whether the team that was recruited to manage this lab, and the lab itself, were in a position to deliver quality work to this country as was expected.
- As Ahmed (1985, p. 98) says, the issue of managing radiological emissions is a complex process that requires the service of qualified individuals with the capacity to work under strenuous conditions. The radiological mobile lab should also have the capacity to manage the task assigned to it. Given the unique terrain of this country, it is important to ensure that this lab is fully tested if it has the capacity to perform its task before releasing it to the field. It is important to note that once the lab is officially released to the field, any form of failure cannot be tolerated.
- Eight individuals were dispatched in the morning and they were expected to return to the center after eight hours. They were expected back by four in the evening with a full report of their findings as would be in a normal operations. With a fully equipped lab, the team drove through the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi with their focus on detecting any radiological emissions from locations considered as high-risk areas, especially in medical facilities and nuclear plants within this country.
- The team reported that there were no cases or incidents of radiological emissions. They reported that the dose rate on all the routes that were taken remained at the background levels. This was an indication that the team did not find any cause of alarm while in the field. However, when the team passed next to a medical facility, radiation sources were detected using the portable device.
- Upon a careful analysis, it was revealed that the source of this radiation was a medical instrument that was being used on a patient. The dose rate remained at the background level, a clear indication that although there was a radiological emission, it was within manageable levels. The amount of emission could not have any negative consequences to the individuals in the immediate environment. The radiation was also determined to be lacking the capacity to spread beyond the room within which the medication was being offered. The radiation was detected because of the high sensitivity of those detectors that were in use.
- It was clear from the result that the area in which this lab was assigned to was safe from any radiological emissions. The country is generally safe from any harmful radiological emissions that could threaten investors or tourists who may be interested in visiting the country. However, it was clear that there was need to have a closer corporation with all the relevant authorities involved in the management of radiological emissions.
- The results in the above sections show that this sector requires proper financing is necessary. As was indicated in the budget in the previous sections, the process of installing a single radiological mobile lab may consume a lot of money. Once this equipment is installed, there is need to ensure that skilled labor is employed to help in running this radiological mobile lab. The lab would need about five personnel to run it efficiently. The process of hiring this workforce may be costly, especially given the fact that there might be a need to test the instrument for proper functionality. This means that there should be steady financiers who will be willing to undertake various duties as a way of ensuring that this process meets its functions successfully.
- There is also need for a close coordination with the authorities that are responsible for the normal running of the country. The government should show goodwill in managing the facility. This is because of the processes involved. For instance, there will be a need for a close corporation with the police, especially in cases where it is suspected that terrorists are planning for an attack within the country. The police will give the officers the authority to work at any part of the country without any fear of intimidation from the authorities or other members of the public.
- The customs officers are also very important in helping the radiological officers perform inspection on the goods that are entering the country or those that are already stored. The officers will be responsible for such activities as reporting any suspicious movement of goods within the ports or storage facility, or any good that they suspect to be having radiological emissions to the radiological officers. The support given by these officers are very important when undertaking radiation surveys as it enhances effectiveness and efficiency of security operations (Bogorad et al 2012, p. 17).
- Given the findings, the following are some of the considerations that relevant authorities should make in enhancing the effectiveness of this mobile radiological lab.
- The personnel who are responsible who are responsible for managing the mobile laboratory should have proper training to ensure that they are capable of handling the assigned equipments with professionalism. It was noted that the officers who were responsible for managing the mobile lab had enough knowledge and experience in managing a mobile radiological lab. Before hiring these officers, there should be a clearly defined role of what they are expected to do. Moreover, all the necessary assignments that they will be assigned as a team should be specified. The personnel should then undergo training to ensure that they understand all the needs of their assignment before they can be sent to the field.
- It was noted that all the hardware components of the system were keenly installed in the lab ready for the field operations. It is important to ensure that all the necessary equipments are fitted in the laboratory before the lab can be released into the field. In this regard
- There should always be a regular inspection by the relevant authorities of these equipments before they leave for the field.
- Planning is another important activity that should be done regularly t ensures that everything happens within the expectations. As always the case, there will be need to plan the workforce and the available resources. The management would need to specific the activities that should be carried out, and define the workforce based on who are able to perform what. This way, it will be able to define all the activities that should be taken with each of the workforce that are expected to perform each action. This will enable the management achieve the desired result within a specified time using the available resources and labor.
- It is important to note that during the survey process in the coastal region in Abu Dhabi, there were some granite plates that were detected to have a dose rate exceeding 2 μSv/h. Given that, this was an active area with some individuals working in the place the whole day in several years, it means that by the end of the year, these people will spend over 2000 hours. During this period, such individuals will get exposed to a dose rate of about 4 mSv which is far beyond the permissible rate of 1 Msv. Identifying such spots is important in enabling the management eliminate cases of risks on the public. In that particular area, the relevant authority should stop all the people working within the range of this radiation to relocate to other regions until this radiation is fully managed.
The findings in the above section have revealed a lot in managing a radiological mobile lab. It is clear that a radiological mobile lab is very important in ensuring that the public is protected. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety of the public.
For a long time, safety has only been considered in terms of the threat that may come from physical objects. However, the world is changing, and with this change comes various changes in terms of security threat. The threat that is posed by chemical emissions may have a more devastating effect than even a normal attack using physical objects.
This is because the chemical or radiological substance has the capacity to affect a large number of people simultaneously and with massive consequences. What makes it even worse is the fact that one may not realize that this substance is affecting him or her. By the time one realizes of the dangers posed, it is always too late as the damage is already done. In such instances, the affected individual may be forced to live with a deformity for years.
There are cases where the deformation may be passed on to several other generations, especially when the substance affects the DNA of an individual. A country will be forced to withstand several births that are abnormal due to cases of radiological emissions that get to affect the concerned individuals. The following stages should be considered to ensure that the mobile radiological lab works appropriately when monitoring and responding to radiological emissions.
Defining the monitoring and response objectives should be the first activity. It is very important to know what is to be achieved before setting forth to start any activity. According to American Cancer Society (1995, p. 92), the team involved in this activity should define what the mission should achieve. In this case, it should be clear what the mobile radiological lab should perform while in the field.
This will help in ensuring that all the stakeholders know what to do, and what to expect from the entire process. The team will work knowing what should be achieved within a specified time. The main objective in this case will be to detect and manage radioactive emissions that may be emitted from various instruments or objects. This team will be responsible for managing radiological emissions that may occur within the United Arab Emirates.
Choosing the right monitoring equipment that should be used in detecting and managing the radiological emissions should be the next step. The responsible authorities should ensure that there is the right material that should be used in managing the radiological emissions. These equipments were discussed in details in the chapter above.
The equipments should reflect the duty that the lab is expected to perform. When the lab is expected to perform a greater function, then it would be necessary to have a lager van, or even a bus that can support a larger lab. However, when the scope is relatively small, then it would be appropriate to use small van will equipments that are relatively small.
Defining the measurement, sampling and evaluation program should be the next step. This will involve determining the measurements techniques and instruments that should be used in the field.
The team should clearly define the sampling and evaluation program that is relevant for the process of collecting data. As was previously mentioned, all the instruments should be availed in order to ensure that the field operation is not affected by failure or lack of the right equipment. All the data recording and data transfer materials should be functional.
The team should then develop working procedures that would be used in the field. There should be a clear question and answer system that would help in the data collection process. The officers should collect data and report in a manner that can facilitate coding of the data in a simpler manner. Given that there is need to conduct an empirical research, data collected should be reported in a quantifiable manner. It is only through this that the data can be computed and the desired outcome released.
As Hacker (1994, p. 89) says, it is necessary to ensure that when collecting data, encoding should be done in a way that will facilitate is compatible to the relevant software. Developing a question answer system helps in creating data that will help be easy to feed into the computer for the purpose of interpretation.
Lastly, the process of training, drilling and exercising the workforce would be needed. The personnel that will be assigned the task of operating the mobile radiological lab will determine whether the process will be a success or otherwise. A workforce with an understanding of what should be done while in the field will always work to the expectation.
However, when the task is assigned to a group of individuals with limited understanding of the task to be performed can always result in incomplete task being performed. In some extreme cases, the workforce can take actions that are not only a threat to themselves while in the lab, but also the public they are expected to protect. In such cases, lab will be going contrary to what is expected of it.
This team should therefore, be drilled on what to do while in the field. The process of hiring and training these employees may be costly as was demonstrated in the budget. However, this process cannot be ignored if the concerned parties expect to achieve the desired results within a specified period. This drilling will involve actual practical in the field, headed by a more qualified officers.
The trainees will be expected to monitor closely how the experts conduct various duties, and ask relevant question in cases where something may not be clear. The trainees will then be left to conduct these activities before the watchful eyes of the experts. When the trainees have satisfactorily passed the test, then they will be ready to go to the field on their own. Below is a diagrammatic representation of the procedures that should be taken.
Overview of the Monitoring Process
The above diagram is an overview of the activities that should be undertaken to ensure that the process of setting up a radiological mobile lab within the United Arab Emirates is successful. The individuals who are responsible for various activities in this project should ensure that they perform their tasks as expected.
First, the objective of the lab should be defined clearly to avoid any controversy among stakeholders in the field of nuclear energy. The management will then ensure that monitoring equipments are put in place to guarantee safety among its employees, as well as other members of society.
The measuring and sampling programs will have to be put in place to ensure that continuous update of the facility is possible. As already discussed in the previous sections, quality and assurance programs play a critical role in ensuring the success of the lab. Therefore, it must be set up in a way that would achieve its objectives. Finally, the workforce should be given adequate training to ensure that their skills are utilized maximally.
As demonstrated in the above findings and discussion, the United Arab Emirates needs well-facilitated mobile radiological lab to help manage radiations that may affect the public if not taken care of appropriately. Majority of the population do not have an understanding of what radiological emissions are.
They do not even know the possible consequences of being exposed to radiological emissions for a prolonged period. This is very dangerous, especially given the extent to which exposure to this emission can cause in the body. Radiological emissions need to be promptly managed in a way that would ensure that the public is kept safe.
Keeping the public safe from radiological emissions not only protect the current generation, but also the future generation. The findings indicate that when radiological substances affect one, there are always possibilities of the DNA getting affected. This may lead to serious consequences to the unborn children as they might be born with unique deformations.
The discussion clearly demonstrates that given the present economic, social, and political position of the United Arab Emirates, there is need to ensure that a stable radiological lab that would help in managing radiation exists. The country has expanded its economic base, and its political leadership is mature. Given the advancement in technology in various sectors of the economy, there is a reason that makes it appropriate to ensure that a radiological mobile lab exists to monitor possible radiological substances that may pose threat to the public.
This facility will not only be responsible for detecting the radioactive waves, but also identifying the source of the radiation so that corrective measures can be taken. The lab can help ensure that the Emirati nationals do not live in fear of radiological emissions from various facilities that they use in their daily lives.
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