December 6, 2023

Fingerprinting Materials: IAEA Updates Neutron Activation Analysis E-studying System

The IAEA has just lately updated its e-finding out substance on an recognized approach to obtain out the composition and origin of materials: neutron activation investigation (NAA). The e-discovering system consists of new articles masking exclusive specifics of the system, up to date terminology and growth of existing modules. The module also offers assessments for customers to verify the knowledge they have acquired via the e-finding out system.

NAA is the most frequently utilized procedure in study reactors. It helps identify the elemental ‘fingerprint’ of supplies by measuring the radiation of radionuclides after neutron irradiation. It is price tag powerful and involves very low electric power and neutron flux, which is achievable in most neutron sources based mostly on exploration reactors or particle accelerators.

“This approach is employed in numerous fields, this kind of as geology, archaeology, air pollution control, overall health and forensics,” stated Nuno Pessoa Barradas, Investigation Reactor Specialist at the IAEA “For instance, it has been utilised to decide trade routes in ancient civilizations, detect counterfeit coffee, and can assist verify the quality of air and the resource of air pollutants.”

Because its release in 2017, this e-understanding study course was taken by over 700 members from 90 international locations doing work in NAA laboratories, study reactor working companies, investigate establishments and universities. It is currently being applied as studying product in undergraduate and graduate courses at universities, such as the College of Texas, wherever Sheldon Landsberger coordinates the Nuclear & Radiation Engineering Educational Software.

“In 2022, I will have 15 graduate students and 6 IAEA fellows in my gamma ray spectrometry course and I will use modules from IAEA e-understanding product,” he claimed.

Updated and improved based mostly on opinions from buyers, up-to-date awareness and methods, the e-discovering system is aimed at guaranteeing safe and sound and prolonged use of NAA both equally in just and outside the house the nuclear field.

“This class is primarily vital as it explores the a lot more innovative and unprecedented areas of NAA, these types of as its distinctive abilities of analyzing big samples, in addition to supplying simple facets of the perform of NAA, which includes process validation,” claimed Peter Bode, an pro from the Netherlands who has contributed to the improvement of the course.

The program incorporates new modules on

  • ‘Standards, calibrators, and reference materials’, concentrating on international specifications and reference components inside of NAA for calibration, system validation and quality control,
  • ‘Sample preparation’, supplying ways for the prevention of contamination and factor decline, drying techniques and on homogenization and representativeness, and
  • ‘Maintenance of Instrumentation’, zooming in on preventative routine maintenance for gamma ray spectrometers to assist buyers improve the life span and high-quality of their instrumentation.

The IAEA offers annual proficiency exams via interlaboratory comparison workout routines led by the IAEA Nuclear Sciences and Instrumentation Laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria. Such checks present nations with the prospect to have their techniques and instrumentation assessed and to receive suggestions on advancements. Participants are guided toward the NAA e-mastering program as preliminary preparing for such proficiency checks and other IAEA workshops on nuclear procedures in study reactors. The IAEA is also producing a publication on practical guides to high-quality management and high-quality assurance for NAA, as a result of demands uncovered from previous proficiency exams.