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A modern detection system to provide warning of abnormal levels of gamma radiation.

A Criticality Incident Detection System (CIDS) detects an increase in gamma radiation to activate an alarm to personnel working with fissile materials. However, modern standards bring an increased challenge to current designs. This updated and redeveloped CIDS has been designed and tested for compliance with current standards.

Fast detection of excessive gamma radiation is crucial for facilities working with nuclear material. CIDS are used to detect such criticality events and raise an alarm to evacuate staff.

Evacuations systems need to be highly reliable and any false alarms can erode system confidence.


This modern CIDS, developed by the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) for internal use, has been designed to meet or exceed current standards.

It has also been designed to provide gamma dose information during and after the event to support post incident response.

Having undergone extensive Gamma, Neutron, electromagnetic, temperature and humidity testing, CIDS is able to withstand fields of radiation encountered during a criticality incident and continue to operate.


  • Reduced False Alarms — due to a ‘two out of N’ voting system..
  • Continuous Diagnostic Monitoring — ensures any faults in the system are reported. Faulty channels can be maintained while the system continues to operate.
  • Safety Improvement — designed to achieve Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL 2) and is tolerant of Single Point Failures (SPF) as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Continuous Operation — a backup power supply ensures that alarm operation is maintained even after a loss of electrical supply.
  • Real Time Dose Measurement — facility wide gamma dose information is centrally available; before, during and after a criticality event.

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