Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission


Innovation in nuclear safeguards: Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn visits the JRC site in Karlsruhe

The European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan- Quinn visits today the Joint Research Centre's (JRC) Institute for Transuranium Elements, located in Karlsruhe. This visit provides the Commissioner with the opportunity to get a first-hand insight of the nuclear safeguards activities carried out by the JRC, which have been significantly improved by the opening of a new analytical laboratory for nuclear micro-particles. With this state-of-the-art facility, JRC scientists can detect within a few hours the existence of nuclear particles in samples taken during safeguards inspections and determine their enrichment level. This allows international safeguards authorities to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear activities. The newly-applied technique has been evaluated and developed by JRC scientists in close collaboration with leading equipment manufacturers in the field; this innovation will both enhance and speed up the nuclear verification process.