We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
When going on holiday or travelling for business by plane, passengers and their luggage undergo advanced screenings that ensure their security. EU legislation aims at protecting citizens by preventing acts of unlawful interference in civil aviation, such as seizure of an aircraft or placing of a hazardous device on board an aircraft.
The JRC supports the policy-makers on detection requirements and standards for airport screening equipment which are set out in EU legislation. Common standards establish the use of state-of-the-art screening equipment in all EU airports which ensures that wherever citizens are flying to, they travel in a secure environment.
The protection of the environment is vital. Contaminated sites, accidental oil spills or fish dying in a polluted river are frequently in the news. Less obvious pollution should not be ignored either and needs to be monitored regularly. This requires sensitive measurement methods to detect pollutants in water, soil or air. Decisions might be taken based on such measurements, which can lead to costly actions for remediation or prevention of further pollution.
The JRC provides CRMs for environmental pollutants in water, soil or airborne particulates which help laboratories to demonstrate the reliability of their environmental measurements; in turn, this leads to reliable environmental management decisions.
We, as citizens, profit from a cleaner environment by reducing the negative impact of pollutants on our health.
The amount of radioactivity in the environment, and consequently in our daily food and water, has to be carefully monitored and controlled. Exact measurements are needed, not only to establish legal limits and guarantee their enforcement, but also to have the same results when measured in different laboratories.
The measurement capabilities and experience in the field of detection of low level radioactivity puts the JRC in the ideal position to define the needed radioactivity measurement standards. By organising inter-laboratory comparisons, it ensures the international dissemination of those standards.
The JRC is by far the largest provider of high quality nuclear data in the EU. At its two large-scale particle accelerators, much of these data are measured and ultimately used to improve the safe operation of nuclear reactors, nuclear waste handling and innovative reactor systems and fuel-cycles.