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Gamma spectrometry
Nuclear stewardship

Radioactivity Measurement

ANSTO is responsible for maintaining Australian standards for the activity of radionuclides by authorisation of the Chief Metrologist of the National Measurement Institute under the Commonwealth National Measurement Act 1960.

The Radionuclide Metrology group performs this function for ANSTO, which includes maintaining the equipment, methods and technical capability to standardise radionuclides by primary and secondary measurement methods in line with current international scientific practices.

Primary measurement methods are those capable of determining the activity of a radionuclide source without reference to any prior calibration of detectors.

The liquid scintillation system is used by members of the Radiation Metrology group

Primary standards are maintained in the Australian Secondary Standard Ionisation Chamber in the form of radionuclide-specific calibration factors.

Ionisation Chambers used for secondary standard measurements

The Secondary Standard Ionisation Chamber is used to certify reference sources with direct traceability to the Australian standard. Such sources are available to Australian users in the form of Australian Certified Reference Materials (ACRMs).

Measurement traceability services are provided to stakeholders in Nuclear Medicine and the radioisotope production industry through the Australian Nuclear Medicine Traceability Program (ANMTP) and the Australian Industry Becquerel Traceability Program (AIBTP).

The becquerel or Bq is the SI derived unit of radioactivity. One Bq is defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second (units of s-1).

The Australian Nuclear Medicine Traceability Program (ANMTP) was developed in response to the need for radionuclide metrology within nuclear medicine practices, expressed by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine (ANZSNM). ANMTP assists practices administering nuclear medicine-based radionuclides to achieve regulatory compliance by providing measurement traceability to the Australian Standard. A key objective of the program is to improve the health outcomes of Australians receiving nuclear medicine treatments through more precise administration of nuclear medicine.

The source transfer portal is used for the movement of radioactive sources between laboratories.

AIBTP is offered to radiopharmaceutical producers and provides traceability to the national standard to assist in fulfilling regulatory requirements and facilitating the trade of radiopharmaceutical products.

Australia establishes the equivalence of its national standards with those of other countries through ANSTO’s participation in international intercomparisons of activity measurement.

ANSTO participates in and fulfils obligations as Australia’s delegate to the Consultative Committee for Ionizing Radiation (CCRI) of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), the Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP) and the International Committee for Radionuclide Metrology (ICRM).

Gamma spectrometry
Gamma spectrometry is used to quantify radionuclidic impurities in sources