Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Sample analysis methods for accountancy and verification: A compendium of currently applied analytical methods

Project ID: PA 73
Funded under: FP5-JRC


Reliable measurements of the amount of nuclear material form the backbone of any nuclear material accountancy system. Accurate element and isotope assay is required for establishing declarations of amounts of nuclear material. Independent verification of such declarations relies also on accurate measurements. The requirements for selection of appropriate analytical methods are derived from economic aspects (investment costs, running costs), operational aspects (speed of execution, ease of manipulations) and scientific aspects (accuracy and traceability of results).

Essentially, any analytical method needs to demonstrate its fitness for purpose, which means it has to demonstrate that the analytical goal is achievable with a reasonable effort. With time, the emphasis of the different aspects has shifted, reflecting the concentration of reprocessing into a few large facilities. Consequently, more emphasis is put on the achieved uncertainty and on cost effectiveness. This has led to the modification and optimisation of existing methods and also to the development and implementation of new methods.

The ESARDA Working Group on Destructive Analysis (WGDA) undertook to establish a compendium of analytical methods reflecting the range of measurement techniques currently applied in nuclear analytical laboratories for accountancy or for safeguards verification purposes. The information contained in this document has been condensed from data provided by the laboratories represented in the Working Group. ESARDA Is the European Safeguards Research and Development Association, representing European organisations actively involved in the research and development of nuclear safeguards.

Additional information

Authors: MAYER K, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE);WELLUM R, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Geel (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: ESARDA Bulletin, No. 31 (April 2002), pp.6-10
Availability: The full text of this article is available online at:
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