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Report on the Workshop on Uncertainties in Nuclear Measurements


Publication date
1 November 2013
Joint Research Centre


Organised by the ESARDA Working Group on Standards and Techniques for Destructive Analysis (WG DA)

Authors: Y. Aregbe, J. Tushingham, K. Mayer, G. Granier, D. Donohue, S. Balsley,  T. Prohaska, S. Vogt

The ESARDA Working Group on Standards and Techniques for Destructive Analysis (WG DA), in close collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), organised a dedicated workshop on ‘Uncertainties in Nuclear Measurements’. The workshop was held in conjunction with the annual working group meeting at the IAEA Safeguards Analytical Services (IAEA-SGAS) Seibersdorf Laboratories (SAL), Austria, on 8-9 November 2011. The focus of the workshop was to exchange concepts and methods of measurement uncertainty estimation among reference measurement institutes, safeguards laboratories, nuclear and environmental material analysts and, in particular, operators on estimation of measurement uncertainty in nuclear measurements. Participation was open to ESARDA WG DA members and to a limited number of invited participants from expert and research institutes. Forty-eight representatives from the main European and international nuclear safeguards organisations, nuclear measurement laboratories, nuclear industry and experts from environmental sciences institutes, participated in this workshop. Fundamental metrological concepts for the estimation of uncertainty in nuclear measurements were presented by Roger Wellum, retired from Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) in the first plenary lecture. The second plenary lecture was given by Claude Norman from the IAEA on measurement uncertainty in material balance verification. The plenary lectures were followed by three sessions, the first on nuclear material analysis for accountancy purposes, the second on nuclear material analysis for non-accountancy purposes, and the third session was dedicated to Environmental Swipe Sample Analysis. The findings and points of discussion from these sessions were further discussed in a working group using the ‘World-Café’ approach around three selected topics, ensuring that all participants could benefit from the ‘collective intelligence’. This report is a summary of the points of discussion raised during the sessions and in the working group, with main emphasis on the recommendations for the topics of approaches to uncertainty, sources of uncertainty, and knowledge of uncertainty. As in previous workshops organised by the ESARDA WGDA, all participants recognised the need and the benefit of intensifying cooperation between the nuclear safeguards and nuclear forensics communities, nuclear industry and environmental sciences institutes.


Report on the Workshop on Uncertainties in Nuclear Measurements
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