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EMPIR project will help to improve knowledge of beta spectra
Recently completed EMPIR project Radionuclide beta spectra metrology (15SIB10, MetroBeta) has developed new measurement approaches for beta radiation, used in a broad range of applications, in particular in national metrology laboratories and environmental measurement laboratories.
The project developed theoretical and experimental approaches to measure the spectra of beta radiation to an unprecedented level of accuracy, including modelling the shape of spectra for the first time, and the development of novel beta radiation detection techniques. These methods allow the energy of beta radiation to be measured with greater precision, supporting the more effective use of radionuclides in applications including medical diagnosis, nuclear power management, environmental protection and even the detection of neutrinos in astrophysics.
Good Practice Guides
The project consortium produced four Good Practice Guides, which are available for download. These will be useful for laboratories intending to initiate new measurement programmes using the advanced detectors developed with this project, or by laboratories wishing to improve their measurement technique with more standard detectors. These are:
- Beta spectra measurement using magnetic spectrometer
- Beta spectra measurement using Si(Li) detectors
- Measurement of beta spectra using solid scintillator crystals
- The use and development of magnetic metallic calorimeters
Beta spectra data
The project developed data sets, which are now available:
- Beta spectra produced in the project supplied to the Decay Data Evaluation Project tables (www.lnhb.fr/nuclear-data/nuclear-data-table)
- A first version of the BetaShape code, which can be used to calculate improved beta spectra, has been made available http://www.lnhb.fr/rd-activities/spectrum-processing-software/
The improved beta spectra and associated anti-neutrino spectra (calculated using BetaShape) will be useful to improve:
- the prediction of the decay heat of existing nuclear power reactors,
- the modelling of new nuclear power reactors designs,
- the safeguards of operating nuclear power reactors (anti-neutrino spectra),
- the calculated dose delivered to cancer patients, in particular for new and emerging radiopharmaceuticals,
- the understanding required in fundamental research in the fields of astrophysics, nuclear structure and atomic masses,
- the determination of the neutrino mass in fundamental physics, and
- the precision of primary activity measurements in national metrology laboratories.
This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.
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