Isatis and Kartotrak, an efficient combination for the characterization of radiological contaminations


Kartotrak is a GIS platform developed by the CEA (the French Atomic Energy Authority) and Geovariances for real-time characterization of radiological contaminations.

Dismantling former nuclear sites requires a preliminary characterization of radiological contamination, for both external areas and nuclear facilities. Such characterization usually relies on several steps: historical analysis, in-situ characterization using non-intrusive measurement techniques (in situ gamma spectrometry), validation of contamination depth with scarce drill-holes and laboratory analysis. The methodology is commonly applied without geo-localization system, working with several inconsistent maps and inaccurate measurement and sample positioning. The lack of optimization, representation and data processing tools leads to inefficient radiological characterizations, which always maximize the amount of contaminated soils or concrete volumes.

To solve these issues, the software platform Kartotrak has been developed by the Decontamination Section of the CEA (the French Atomic Energy Authority) in Fontenay-aux-Roses (6km south from Paris), where the French nuclear science has been initiated in 1945 and three generations of facilities have been exploited and progressively dismantled.

Kartotrak: a GIS dedicated to the radiological evaluation of contaminated sitesKartotrak is a GIS-based system which allows the follow-up of the different stages of a characterization program, from the organization of preliminary sampling campaigns to the estimation and delineation of contaminated areas/volumes. It provides classical GIS applications: management of standard cartographic data (vectorial *dxf, *shp or rasters), localization and digitalisation of specific points/areas, display of interpolated maps. Several modules are fully integrated with the platform:

  • STRATEGE provides tools to set up a sampling campaign by considering: the type of contamination, the historical information, the stage of the study and its future purpose, potential budget constraints;
  • KRIGEO gives a standard framework for data analysis and geostatistical modeling: basic statistics, variography, kriging and probability mapping.

The GIS platform can be loaded in a site characterization van. In this case, the platform is fully connected to a GPS and several measuring devices, even allowing a real-time monitoring of covered areas (Kartotrak-RT).

It is also linked to the Isatis software for advanced exploratory data analysis, modelling with stochastic simulations and 3D visualization (soils, former installations).

Over the past few years, the platform helped decision-making on various types of nuclear facilities and allowed to properly characterize areas for which classical methodologies were leading to a dead-end in terms of economic feasibility.

Isatis and Kartotrak, an efficient combination for the characterization of radiological contaminations

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