• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

Towards Better, More Accurate Radioactivity Measurement

11th Almera Meeting

Participants at the 11th Coordination Meeting of ALMERA at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

Joining a network of expert laboratories is the quickest way for scientists to rapidly gain expertise and competence in radioactivity measurement while ensuring consistency of data. This was one of the main underlying messages as participants gathered for the 11th Coordination Meeting of the IAEA's Network of Analytical Laboratories for the Measurement of Environmental Radioactivity (ALMERA) which recently opened at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

Eighty-four ALMERA laboratory representatives from 50 countries are participating in this year's technical meeting that is taking place from 7 to 10 October 2014. This annual meeting provides a forum for representatives of the ALMERA laboratories to share their knowledge and expertise within this large network of expert laboratories.

In his welcoming remarks to the participants, Mr Aldo Malavasi, Deputy Director General and Head of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, highlighted the significance of ALMERA by emphasising that "this network is of particular importance in the event of any release of radioactivity to the environment by providing reliable and timely determination of radionuclides in environmental samples." He further stressed that "for laboratories worldwide, participation in the network's activities is important to enhance the analytical skills of their specialists, demonstrate technical competence in measuring environmental radioactivity, and to increase worldwide comparability of environmental radioactivity measurement results."

The core objectives of this meeting are to review the planned ALMERA activities and to define a future work plan for the development of the network's activities in the areas of proficiency testing, recommended radioanalytical methods, training courses and workshops, methodologies supporting routine and emergency environmental monitoring, and radioecological assessment. The meeting will also foster discussion on how to increase the role of regional coordination centres in mobilizing the network's experience, encouraging exchange of expertise and supporting capacity-building.

The meeting consists of a plenary session and working sessions for the network's regional groups as well as its task groups. The plenary session included presentations by ALMERA members on development of radioanalytical methods, quality systems and relevant monitoring and assessment projects in their laboratories. In addition, there were presentations by IAEA specialists in relevant areas such as novel developments in nuclear instrumentation, monitoring of radioactivity in food, emergency response and preparedness. The overall ALMERA work plan are to be presented at the plenary session on 10 October 2014.

Participants are also scheduled to visit selected facilities of the IAEA laboratories located in Seibersdorf, Austria, and have an opportunity to learn about how nuclear technology is applied in a range of different fields including food, health and agriculture.


The ALMERA network is a worldwide network of analytical laboratories capable of providing reliable and timely determination of radionuclides in samples used for both routine and emergency environmental monitoring. As of October 2014, it consists of 149 laboratories in 84 countries, nominated by their authorities as those laboratories which would be expected to provide measurement results from environmental samples in the event of any radioactivity release in the environment. Coordinated by the Environment Laboratories Division in the IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, the main network activities are related to the organization of proficiency tests and inter-laboratory comparison exercises, the development and validation of analytical procedures for the measurement of environmental radioactivity, and the organization of training courses and workshops.

Further information on the ALMERA network is available on the IAEA ALMERA website.

Stay in touch