Many issues related to nuclear safety and security involve calculations using accurate nuclear data. Measurements of neutron-induced reactions and cross-section standards, and absolute measurements of radiation i.e. radionuclide metrology, have been key activities of the JRC-IRMM since it started operation in 1960.
JRC-IRMM focuses on neutron data for standards, safety of operating reactors, handling of nuclear waste and waste transmutation and investigating alternative reactor systems and fuel cycles.
Measurements carried out at its linear electron accelerator facility (known as GELINA) and the Van de Graaff facility have played a significant role in establishing and improving the evaluated nuclear data files maintained at the databank of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Additionally, the JRC-IRMM participates in competitive projects. Following a third call for proposals in 2010, 31 experiments at GELINA and the Van de Graaff accelerator have been approved to date. A new project called ERINDA (European Research Infrastructures for Nuclear Data Applications) started on 1 December 2010. The project brings together major players in Europe in terms of nuclear data measurement facilities, working towards improved nuclear data in line with the Strategic Research Agenda of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform.