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Radiochimica Acta

International Journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology

Editor-in-Chief: Qaim, Syed M.

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.202

CiteScore 2017: 1.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.409
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.869

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Volume 100, Issue 8-9


Quality assurance in the nuclear sector

S. J. Parry
  • Corresponding author
  • Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY, UK / Viridian Partnership, PO Box 746, Woking, Surrey, UK
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Published Online: 2014-04-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2012.1958


The nuclear sector in the UK operates under regulation requiring assurance that the quality of radioactive measurements is “fit for purpose”. Laboratories operate a quality system under ISO 17025:2005 which is monitored by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. Few of the test methods used in UK laboratories are based on standard methods so non-standard procedures are validated through the use of certified reference materials, and continued quality assurance is provided through participation in proficiency testing and interlaboratory comparison exercises. The majority of organisations accredited for radioactivity measurements under ISO 17025:2005 in the UK are environmental monitoring laboratories routinely processing soils, vegetation, air filters and water samples. There are no certified reference materials available in the UK or elsewhere adequately supporting the work of these laboratories. The same is true for the nuclear decommissioning and waste management community that regularly analyses concrete, soil, brick, sludge and oils for activities at Low Level Waste and Intermediate Waste Levels. The nuclear sector has a number of issues regarding availability of isotopic tracers for analysis, supplies of material for nuclear medicine, proficiency testing exercises involving representative matrices and activity levels but the most pressing need is in the area of certified reference materials for validation of methods analysing alpha, beta, and gamma emitting radionuclides.

Keywords: Quality assurance; Accreditation; Reference materials; Proficiency testing

About the article

Published Online: 2014-04-15

Published in Print: 2012-08-01

Citation Information: Radiochimica Acta, Volume 100, Issue 8-9, Pages 495–501, ISSN (Online) 2193-3405, ISSN (Print) 0033-8230, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2012.1958.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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