EU Science Hub

Laboratories & facilities

The JRC's radionuclide metrology laboratories perform reference measurements of radioactivity with the highest possible accuracy using an "armada" of in-house developed (and commercial) instruments. This is used for realising the unit Bq and establishing decay data needed by the modern society. In addition, a part of the laboratory is located 225 metres underground where the background radiation from cosmic rays is 5000 times lower compared to above ground. Here it is possible to measure extremely low levels of radioactivity, which is used in a huge number of different projects from tracing radioactivity from Fukushima to characterising reference materials for nuclear decommissioning.

The JRC has state-of-the-art storage facilities for use in the storage of reference materials.

The reference materials processing facility is home to the JRC's reference material programme with specialised laboratories used in the production of certified reference materials, element analysis, bio-safety research and material handling.

The JRC's Solid-state Hydrogen Storage Testing Facility carries out research on potential hydrogen storage materials.

The JRC produces and characterises a variety of targets for high-precision measurements of neutron-reaction data at the GELINA and Van de Graaff accelerators.

The Minor Actinide Laboratory (MA-lab) of ITU is a unique facility for the fabrication of fuels and targets containing minor actinides such as americium and curium. It is of key importance for research on Partitioning and Transmutation (P&T) in Europe, as it is one of the only dedicated facilities for the fabrication of MA containing materials, either for property measurements or for the production of test pins for irradiation experiments.


The JRC's Van de Graaff facility houses six experimental set-ups, and provides a stable neutron field for more than a week without interruption.

Van de Graaff

The Ispra, Italy-based Vehicle Emissions Laboratory (VELA) comprises two well-equipped chemical and physical analysis labs, and seven major testing facilities capable of conducting emissions tests (including the measurement of evaporative emissions) on a variety of vehicles. These range from motorbikes to passenger cars and even large heavy-duty engines. Findings made at these facilities have provided scientific support for the development of new EU Directives and the revision of older ones, as well as for the assessment of new measurement techniques and procedures.