The ALMERA network provides a worldwide forum for analytical laboratories dealing with radioactivity measurements of the environment. ALMERA stands for 'Analytical Laboratories for the Measurement of Environmental Radioactivity'. The network is coordinated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and offers several interesting opportunities for member laboratories to develop, upgrade, harmonise and test radioactivity measurement methods. Very recently the 11th coordination meeting of ALMERA was a top story on the IAEA’s News Centre web page.
SCK•CEN's Low-Level Radioactivity Measurements expert group (LRM) is member of ALMERA for more than 10 years. Especially the well organised inter-laboratory tests, some of which involved fast reporting options such as those that may be encountered in emergency situations, have been of great value to our laboratories.
Initiatives for new inter-laboratory tests are decided and planned during the coordination meetings of the network and hence give the members the possibility to give input. The development and use of so called fast methods and procedures, to be used in emergency situations, and radioactivity measurements of food stuff, sea water and NORM materials are currently topics of interest to many ALMERA members including SCK•CEN. LRM is participating in these activities according to its own needs and interests.
Group picture taken at the 11th ALMERA coordination meeting (© IAEA)