R&D supports monitoring and preparedness

The Radiation Safety Authority (STUK) conducts research and development (R&D) that supports the monitoring of the use of radiation and nuclear energy and preparedness. The implementation of larger R&D projects usually requires cooperation with universities or other research institutions. In 2023, research and development work focused on international EU-funded joint projects.

STUK mainly carries out applied research. The aim of the R&D work is to provide decision-makers, authorities, radiation users, citizens and other stakeholders with correct and comprehensible radiation safety information which is based on research. This enables people to understand the risks of radiation in the right way, even in the midst of the information flood and influencing through information. With the radiation safety research, STUK creates the conditions for a radiation-safe living and working environment and develops its own knowledge of the effects of radiation, measurements and management of risks arising from radiation. The research focuses on managing large-scale issues and using the expertise of cooperation networks.

STUK maintains national ionizing radiation metrological standards to enable reliable radiation measurements and offers high-level measurement and expert services to citizens, the industry, research institutions and other authorities. Metrology-related R&D enables reliable, accurate and efficient radiation measurements in the laboratory as well as in the field, and maintains the quality of national metrological standard operations at a high international level.

The R&D activities also maintain STUK’s ability to establish a situational picture of accidents involving nuclear plants and radiation sources and other abnormal events, their development and radiation levels, in order to assess the safety significance of the radiation situation and to take measures to reduce radiation exposure. 

Finland has a high level of expertise in radiation safety research. In order to make effective use of this expertise, the Finnish Consortium for Radiation Safety Research (Cores)  which is comprised of STUK, nine Finnish universities and five welbeing services counties (university hospitals) was established. The consortium coordinates and promotes radiation safety research in Finland. Cores also organizes seminars and workshops. A seminar on safety, security and safeguards was arranged in 2023. 

Focus on international joint ventures

In 2023, several EU-funded R&D projects related to preparedness and metrological standards were under way at STUK.

The i-Violin project (Implementing verifiable oncological imaging by quality assurance and optimization) aims to optimise and harmonise imaging practices for cancer patients in Europe. STUK provides the project with its expertise in radiation measurements and image quality determination, and supports the organization of the international training events and communications especially to European radiation safety authorities. 

STUK is coordinating a project called TraMeXI (Traceability in medical X-ray imaging dosimetry). The aim of the project is to update existing and develop new calibration and measurement methods to ensure the reliability of patients' radiation exposure measurements in X-ray imaging. The results are included in international standards that can be used at national level. 

The Metrology for the harmonisation of Environmental Compass in Europe (MetroPOEM) project aims to enable and harmonize measurement methods for the detection and characterization of both radioactive isotopes and stable polluting elements. STUK is developing mass spectrometric measurements in the project. 

The Risk management for large-scale radiological and nuclear emergencies (KANTTURA) project, coordinated by STUK, is developing a national radiation measurement plan in the event of a large-scale radiological or nuclear accident. The project implements 1) a national plan of what, when and how to measure, 2) requirements for different measurements, instruments and required competence, and 3) a plan of methods for creating an up-to-date and comprehensive situational picture. The plan to be worked on covers scenarios where significant amounts of radioactive substances are released into the environment. The results will be taken into operational use at national level. 

The RescEU stockpile project establishes and maintains CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) reserve under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in Finland. The material stored in the stockpile is intended for use by both first responders and the civilian population in various CBRN accident and CBRN disturbance situations. Finland is coordinating the project under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Institute of Health and Welfare, the National Emergency Supply Agency and STUK. 

The Harmonisation, update and implementation of standards related to radiation protection dosimeters for photon radiation (GuideRadPROS) project improves the quality and accuracy of radiation protection measurements by developing industry standards and preparing for the introduction of new radiation protection quantities. STUK coordinates the project. 

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