Measurement & Expertise

Our Measurements and Expertise team delivers exceptional technical expertise and experienced staff to help customers solve their nuclear measurement challenges while saving cost and time.

What We Do

Measurements and Expertise Solutions Partnerships for more efficient and cost-effective nuclear measurements

Our Measurements and Expertise (M&E) team provides services to measure and analyze nuclear material more efficiently. This team benefits from high level experts around the world with a combined 500 years of field experience. Having Mirion Measurement and Expertise on your side ensures the quality of results, the safety of your site and innovative solutions customized for your needs.

Value Added:

  • A thorough upfront study drastically reduces the project lead time and cost
  • Benefit from years of experience to ensure success
  • Save time and money by doing it right the first time
  • Mirion engineers are proactive and detect any issues early
  • Third party independent review
  • Ensure quality of results while meeting regulations

Above and beyond its unique expertise, the M&E team leverages Mirion's unique nuclear instrumentation.

Mirion & Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Partnership

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM serves as the nations final repository for radioactive waste produced during the Manhattan Project during the 1940s. Due to the hazard of the material involved for disposal at WIPP a detailed certification program was designed for material destined to the facility. Mirion has provided Non-Destructive Assay support for the program since 1997. In 2020 Mirion received a sole-source contract to measure radioactive waste at all the government sites across the country that ship material to WIPP supporting the Central Characterization Project (CCP).

WIPP NDA Characterization Support Services

Mirion (Canberra) and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant have had a strong partnership for over 20 years, and this partnership continues today. Mirion has provided Non-Destructive Assay (NDA) services since 1997 to the WIPP project. This contract is relevant to the NDA Characterization Support Services for the following key reasons:

  • Our fleet of mobile NDA and associated staff is currently characterizing containerized TRU and LLRW for shipment and disposition to WIPP at Department of Energy (DOE) generator sites at LANL TA-54, LANL TA-55, the TWPC at Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and the Savannah River Site
  • Our NDA systems are the only certified NDA systems in the Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP) program today and have a proven track record of quality and safe operations
  • We have assayed thousands of containers of TRU waste safely and efficiently to ensure compliance with DOE Orders and the WIPP Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC), Revision 8, prior to transport to WIPP
  • We validate and verify the AK of national defense-generated CH TRU, CH Mixed TRU Waste, and RH TRU waste

To efficiently and cost-effectively assay containers, we designed, developed and currently operate NDA systems at Los Alamos, Livermore, Savannah River, Idaho and Oak Ridge. In addition, we developed and maintain our specialized NDA measurement NDA 2000™ software, on all of the WIPP certified systems. The software allows full storage of all data, setup parameters, calibration parameters, and analysis results in a file structure that facilitates data review or reanalysis of results. It allows data to be reanalyzed at any time up to the 30 years required for data storage. The flexible file structure allows data reports to be tailored to meet waste acceptance criteria for disposal at WIPP. Equipment we have designed, developed and currently operate includes:

  • High-Efficiency Neutron Counter (HENC)
  • Super High Efficiency Neutron Counter (SuperHENC)
  • Mobile ISOCS™ Large Container Counter designed by Mirion colleagues working at Los Alamos.
  • SWEPP Gamma Ray Spectrometry (SGRS)
  • Waste Assay Gamma Spectrometer (WAGS)
  • IQ3 NDA System


Savannah River Site Large Container Box Counter

Mirion (Canberra) provided Savannah River Site (SRS) with significant cost savings through our design, construction, and operation of the Savannah Box Counter, the largest gamma and neutron NDA system used in the National TRU Program to safely and efficiently characterize radioactive waste stored in Standard Large Box 2 (SLB-2) at the SRS. Deployment of the Savannah Box Counter alleviated the problem of opening each SLB-2 and repackaging the waste into smaller Standard Waste Boxes (SWB), thereby significantly reducing exposure to workers of very high level of radioactivity in the waste and eliminating the need for some of the waste to be size-reduced to meet the requirements for shipment to WIPP, resulting in significant cost savings and improved safety.

The system is comprised of a Box Segmented Gamma Scanner (BSGS) providing high resolution gamma spectroscopy, and a Box Neutron Assay System (BNAS) providing passive neutron counting capability. The NDA 2000 software, developed by Mirion (Canberra), uses a multi-modality approach that combines the assay results from the gamma and neutron systems to complement each other in satisfying WIPP criteria. To meet the challenges presented by characterizing such large containers, we:

  • Developed a custom JSB-96 scaler module which allows for the tracking of count rates from individual channels from the 320 He-3 tubes providing a diagnostic tool for the state of health of the system and basic source distribution information
  • Implemented a modified hydrogen correction algorithm that reduces bias when the neutron interfering matrix is severe, and a sufficient quantity of Pu is present
  • Automated the count rate driven high activity/low activity transmission beam to account for the higher density materials and void spaces
  • Applied ISOCS™ modeling for the multi-curve density efficiencies used by the gamma system
  • Lowered the system’s minimum detectable activity (MDA) by incorporating a Local Coincidence Veto technique into our NDA 2000 software

As a result of our innovations in large container characterization at SRS, several thousand containers of waste were safely transported to WIPP for disposal, thus providing significant cost savings and improved operational efficiencies, as well as reduction of radiation exposure for the workers.

We were also an integral part of a team that received a DOE Sustainability Award in 2014. Savannah River Solid Waste Engineering, in a partnership with Mirion (Canberra) and the CCP, developed an innovative approach for reducing the quantity of transuranic waste requiring processing. The NDA technique compensates for a variety of difficult waste compositions and configurations and minimizes processing, repackaging, transport, and facilitates disposal of transuranic materials. This state-of-the-art process also reduces exposure through repacking of containers and other inherent risks to DOE personnel. Process development and qualification took less than two years to complete and was approved by the SRS TRU Team, DOE, WIPP, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Application of this new technique for waste at SRS reduced the quantity of TRU waste requiring processing by 70 cubic meters (28 containers), leading to a cost savings of more than $10.5 million. This process is WIPP-approved and is available to the DOE complex to support TRU waste certification for shipment and disposal to the WIPP.


Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) Calibration Validation and Verification for WIPP

Mirion (Canberra) designed and developed the well-known ISOCS™ technology, and we have extended its capabilities by developing a complete use of the ISOCS methodology to facilitate certification of waste containers for WIPP disposition that cannot otherwise be certified, thereby providing significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. The challenge faced by several sites is the presence of waste containers that have material types or high activities that result in difficult measurement scenarios, or waste container shapes that do not have readily available matrices for calibration verification. The certification process involves an extensive calibration and verification process including the development and fabrication of calibration standards. This is an area where the ISOCS approach is of significant value to the Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP) CCP program and unique to our expertise and capability. Mirion (Canberra) used previous experience of object-based efficiency validation and other tools to create a Figure-of-Merit (FOM) that can be used to demonstrate to the EPA and DOE that the ISOCS efficiency used for the containers in question is valid. The new tool is fielded through a specialized software user interface that works as part of our Genie™ 2000 software and integrates with our NDA 2000 waste assay software.

The link below shows Mirion’s ability to bring advanced technology to assist DOE with significant issues in the complex.


Idaho National Laboratory Dose-to-Curie Characterization

Mirion (Canberra) provides significant support to the RH Dose-to-Curie (DTC) operations performed at INL to ensure that INL RH waste is certified in accordance with DOE/WIPP-02-3124, Remote Handled TRU Waste Characterization Program Implementation Plan (RH PIP). Our Lead Operators provide oversight and review of ITR measurements work performed by INL site personnel. The DTC process establishes radionuclide activity, total activity, and activity per container, when used in conjunction with scaling factors that represent the radionuclide distribution in the waste.

We perform gamma spectroscopy operations using our Osprey® Universal Digital MCA Tube Base for Scintillation Spectrometry, which, in addition to the standard PHA mode of operation, includes MCS, SCA, multispectral scaling, list, and time-stamped list modes and is designed for either remote or local operation. Our EAs review gamma spectroscopy data. The benefit this provides is to safely and cost-effectively determine relative radionuclide contributions to the gamma dose rate (isotopic distribution), to estimate scaling factors, or as a specific measurement technique to quantify radionuclides in the waste. Mirion (Canberra) also develops and provides training to qualify INL personnel, as well as assists in the development and revision of procedures associated with the RH TRU tasks we perform at INL.

Method Development

Expert Support for Complex Systems

Technical and feasibility studies to assist in waste management and D&D strategies, audit preparation and assistance, NDA system upgrade, system training.

  • Technical Studies to assist in development of waste management/decommissioning strategies
  • Feasibility studies e.g. for optioneering assay techniques
  • Specialists embedded into customer teams
  • Embedded expertise so D&D groups can design processes/plant with measurement systems/services in mind
  • Help customers prepare documentation for regulators and audits
  • Support customers through interaction with their client
  • NDA system upgrade advice

Case Studies

Measurement Procedures

Operating instructions, documentation and training to provide QA approved methods for operators.

  • Operating Instructions to provide QA approved method for operators
  • Use for operator training, assessment to certify as Suitably Qualified and Experienced Person

Case Studies

Assistance to system operations

Enhancing the operation of your NDA systems with the support of our Experts, providing assay systems for measurement campaign.

  • Assay systems for measurement campaign (e.g. ISOCS system, Gamma camera, waste package monitor)
  • Operation by customer team with Mirion expert consultancy support
  • Or Mirion team operates customer’s systems (e.g. LLWR drum monitors)
  • Or Mirion team operates and reports results (full service)

Case Studies

Expert Data Review

Expert physics review of assay system results with QA and fingerprint reviews.

  • Expert physics review of assay system results
  • Call-off support for anomalous drums / containers
  • Special analysis for campaigns of drums
  • QA reviews / Fingerprint reviews

Case Studies

Onsite measurement services and characterization reports

Large range of onsite services from dose rate and gamma imaging surveys to complex gamma spectroscopy and neutron measurements. Some of our instruments and systems are available for lease.

  • Gamma Spectroscopy Services: ISOCS system, hand-held detectors (HPGe, NaI, LaBr, CZT etc), low and high resolution depending on application
  • Dose rate surveys
  • Gamma Imaging (Gamma camera)
  • Passive Neutron detection slabs – Pu in containerized waste/holdup
  • Mercurad® Dose rate modeling/surveys
  • Monte Carlo modeling – MCNPX – for studies/calibrations
  • Depth profiling (Non Destructive + drilling/sampling)
  • Sealed HRGS probe for measurement in confined areas
  • SMOPY underwater spent fuel / nuclear material measurements
  • Mobile Assay Systems (US MCS model, being adapted)*
  • Measurement uncertainties

Case Studies