Fingerprinting Resources: IAEA Updates Neutron Activation Investigation E-mastering Training course

The IAEA has just lately up to date its e-learning product on an established method to discover out the composition and origin of products: neutron activation analysis (NAA). The e-finding out training course consists of new material masking distinctive information of the approach, up to date terminology and growth of existing modules. The module also gives assessments for end users to test the awareness they have obtained by way of the e-understanding course.

NAA is the most commonly used system in analysis reactors. It will help figure out the elemental ‘fingerprint’ of resources by measuring the radiation of radionuclides right after neutron irradiation. It is price productive and requires very low ability and neutron flux, which is achievable in most neutron resources based mostly on study reactors or particle accelerators.

“This method is used in numerous fields, these as geology, archaeology, air pollution regulate, health and forensics,” explained Nuno Pessoa Barradas, Investigate Reactor Specialist at the IAEA “For instance, it has been employed to decide trade routes in ancient civilizations, detect counterfeit coffee, and can help verify the high-quality of air and the resource of air pollutants.”

Given that its launch in 2017, this e-finding out training course was taken by over 700 members from 90 countries doing work in NAA laboratories, analysis reactor running corporations, exploration establishments and universities. It is remaining utilized as finding out substance in undergraduate and graduate programs at universities, together with the University of Texas, wherever Sheldon Landsberger coordinates the Nuclear & Radiation Engineering Academic Program.

“In 2022, I will have 15 graduate pupils and 6 IAEA fellows in my gamma ray spectrometry class and I will use modules from IAEA e-discovering product,” he claimed.

Current and enhanced centered on feedback from end users, up-to-day expertise and procedures, the e-finding out course is aimed at ensuring protected and extended use of NAA both inside and outside the nuclear discipline.

“This study course is primarily vital as it explores the extra progressive and unparalleled features of NAA, these kinds of as its unique capabilities of analyzing substantial samples, in addition to presenting functional areas of the carry out of NAA, such as system validation,” claimed Peter Bode, an specialist from the Netherlands who has contributed to the improvement of the study course.

The course includes new modules on

  • ‘Standards, calibrators, and reference materials’, concentrating on international expectations and reference supplies inside of NAA for calibration, method validation and quality regulate,
  • ‘Sample preparation’, supplying approaches for the prevention of contamination and element reduction, drying techniques and on homogenization and representativeness, and
  • ‘Maintenance of Instrumentation’, zooming in on preventative upkeep for gamma ray spectrometers to help users increase the lifetime and good quality of their instrumentation.

The IAEA gives once-a-year proficiency tests by means of interlaboratory comparison exercises led by the IAEA Nuclear Sciences and Instrumentation Laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria. This sort of tests supply international locations with the prospect to have their strategies and instrumentation assessed and to obtain information on advancements. Contributors are guided in direction of the NAA e-learning course as preliminary preparing for this kind of proficiency exams and other IAEA workshops on nuclear procedures in exploration reactors. The IAEA is also acquiring a publication on realistic guides to good quality handle and high quality assurance for NAA, as a consequence of demands disclosed from past proficiency tests.