Increased analytical capacity, higher accuracy and faster turn-around time – thanks to the recent modernization of the IAEA's safeguards laboratories – will enable the Agency to meet its growing obligations in nuclear verification.
At its meeting today, the IAEA Board of Governors reviewed the laboratory modernization project, known as Enhancing Capabilities of Safeguards Analytical Services (ECAS), which was completed on time and on budget at the end of 2015.
"With the new facilities and infrastructure, the Agency is able to conduct safeguards sample analysis in safe, secure and modern facilities for decades to come," said Tero Varjoranta, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards.
The modernized laboratories will provide the IAEA with more sampling capacity for nuclear material and improved precision in all analytical services. The time required to analyse nuclear material and environmental swipe samples has been reduced from 55 to 35 days for plutonium analysis and from 20 to 15 days for uranium analysis (see infographic). The accuracy of measurements has also increased by over ten times from 5000 particles per sample to 60 000.