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.
An Award of Achievement has been recently given by the ASTM (International Standards Organisation) committee C26 "Nuclear Fuel Cycle".
Stephan Richter from the Unit JRC.G.2 in Geel/Belgium, received an Award of Achievement during the January 2018 Committee Week of ASTM-International (American Society for Testing and Materials), for the "Development of the C1832 Standard Test Method for Determination of Uranium Isotopic Composition by the Modified Total Evaporation (MTE) Method using a Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer". This standardized method allows for the determination of uranium isotope abundances in nuclear samples with the highest precision and accuracy.
Furthermore, in February 2018 another new standard test method ASTM C1871-18, entitled "Standard Test Method for Determination of Uranium Isotopic Composition by the Double Spike Method Using a Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer", has been released, which is based on analytical approaches developed at the JRC. The standard is available here
This method has already been applied by the JRC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the validation of the so-called "Cristallini" practice for sampling of UF6, which will make transport of the radioactive UF6 gas cheaper and safer. Currently the standardization of the "Cristallini" sampling practice is ongoing at ASTM-International with support from JRC. This is very much awaited by nuclear facility operators worldwide, as well as by European Safeguards and the IAEA. Read more
The work at JRC on standardization in the nuclear mass spectrometry field will be continued in collaboration with the IAEA and nuclear laboratories. This will include all relevant methods in order to enhance the worldwide use of standardized methods to maximize reliability and quality of nuclear mass spectrometry measurements in nuclear safeguards and security. The JRC has a clear mandate to develop reference methods and support harmonization, which recently has been confirmed by a distinguished panel of experts suggesting a continued and intensified support in the area of standardization. Read More
In the near future JRC will also become actively involved in strengthening the collaboration between ASTM-International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This effort is expected to lead to joint ASTM-ISO standard documents with high significance for nuclear analytical laboratories in Europe and worldwide.