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Radionuclide metrology for primary standardisation & VERMI


Specific Objectives:
1. To participate in 6 international CCRI key-comparisons of radioactivity measurements: 32P, 204Ti, 65Zn, 192Ir, 54Mn, 241Am;
2. To contribute to the aims of VERMI to develop the quality of European radionuclide metrology, in particular through - the construction and testing of a prototype for the future World Primary Reference System of Radioactivity, - the training of a PhD student in primary standardisation measurements. Anticipated milestones and schedule Key comparisons Completion of calculations and report on 32P - end Jan 2003 Completion of calculations & report on 204Ti - April 2003 Completion of measurements, calculations and report on 65Zn - June 2003 Completion of measurements, calculations and report on 192Ir - August 2003 Method development & initation of measurements on 54Mn and 241Am - Sept-Dec 2003 VERMI Detailed definition of Phd thesis - Dec 2003 Completion of prototype construction and testing - Dec 2003.
Planned Deliverables Key comparisons:
1.1 Reports of the results to BIPM for 32P, 204Ti, 65Zn, 192Ir;
1.2 Method development & initial measurements for 54Mn, 241Am, VERMI;
2.1 Construction and testing of prototype of future World Primary Reference System of Radioactivity;
2.2 Supervision of a PhD student.
Summary of the Action:

This action is in support of European and international organisations (EUROMET, CCRI, BIPM) for the improvement of international Equivalence of primary radioactivity measurements, especially as a consequence of the CIPM - MRA. This includes also Candidate Countries. 2003 will be the first year of the existence of VERMI (Virtual Radionuclide Metrology Institute), which is intended to become the reference point for radionuclide metrology in Europe. Partner organisations include PIB (DE), BNM- LNHB (FR)and NPL(UK). JRC's contribution in 2003 will include, among other things, training a PhD student in primary standardisation measurements and constructing and testing a prototype of the future World Primary Reference System of Radioactivity. The present state of metrology in international trade and for European competitiveness has highlighted a great need for so called 'key comparisons' for the establishment of 'International Equivalence' of radioactivity standards. Reference materials need to be characterised and certified for their radioactive components and radioactivity measurements need to be of the highest level of accuracy. Ultra-low level radioactivity measurements are also becoming increasingly important especially in the fields of environmental safeguards, medicine and the semiconductor industry. These criteria are fulfilled by providing: Support to metrology organisations in establishing 'International Equivalence' in radioactivity standards used in research, medical applications, environment and industry.

Radioactive decay data measurements. Ultra-low level radioactivity measurements for the detection of traces of radioactive matter (in the underground laboratory). Rationale Metrological measurements of radioactivity and the standardisation of the corresponding radionuclides are indispensable for a reliable assessment of radioactivity in environmental samples, in contaminated food and for medical diagnosis and treatment. The importance of Radionuclide Metrology is even more exemplified since the signing of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement between national metrology institutes (including IRMM on behalf of the European Commission) under the auspices of the CIPM. Over the last 40 years, radionuclide metrology research and low level gamma-ray spectrometry facilities at IRMM have been developed and fine-tuned and today this laboratory belongs to one of the leading reference laboratories globally for the certification of primary radioactivity standards. In conjunction with the underground laboratory HADES (223m below the ground level), IRMM's measurement capability in the area of radionuclide metrology is unique and needed to support EU policies with respect to nuclear issues.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
B-2440 Geel