News

Improving traceability of medical and radiation protection dosimetry in Belgium

Woman operating a linear accelerator

Improvements of traceability for radiation protection, diagnostic imaging and cancer radiation treatment in Belgium made possible through the work of an EMPIR project

Ionising radiation is used extensively in hospitals, from the low dose and energy levels used in diagnostic imaging to the higher dose and energies used in radiotherapy. Radiation protection is important in an aging population where medical exposure to all forms of ionising radiation is increasing, causing safety concerns. To address these, better monitoring of individual patient exposures is needed coupled with greater accuracy in determining delivered doses from all ionising radiation sources.

Like many emerging European countries, Belgium does not have its own primary dosimetry standards but derives traceability from another member state. The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, through its Laboratory for Nuclear Calibrations (LNK), is aiming to change this by developing its own primary standards and becoming the country’s leading radiation protection calibration service provider. Participation in EURAMET’s Capacity Building project ‘Absorbed dose in water and air’ (14RPT04 Absorb), has brought this aim nearer to implementation.

As a result of the project, SCK-CEN has characterised a primary air kerma standard, important both for radiotherapy and for radiation protection. Project derived knowledge will be used to characterise their x-ray beams, both before and after relocation to a new state of the art facility, LNK.  This will form one of three newly constructed EU facilities, with the others located in France and Turkey.

EMPIR Capacity Building projects support the development of metrological expertise in emerging EURAMET National Metrology Institutes and Designated Institutes, whilst increasing interactions and extending the capability of the more developed institutions. These projects form a key EURAMET tool for creating a coherent, efficient and sustainable metrology landscape in Europe.

Dr Mihailescu, from LNK, who was involved in the project said:

"Building knowledge in a metrology laboratory requires constant long-term efforts and support from well-established laboratories”.

A workshop entitled ‘Absorbed dose in water and air’ was held in Paris in March 2016 and a report on this has the basic information for any laboratory to build a primary standard .


This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

Want to hear more about EURAMET?

Sign up for EURAMET newsletters and other information

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Select your area of interest
Journal paper describing work of EMRP project is favourite from last 15 years
2021-05-11

Paper in journal Nature Physics is featured as one of the editors’ favourites from the journal’s 15- year lifetime more

New faster methods for measuring energy absorption from mobile phones
2021-05-06

EMPIR project has improved measurements for the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when using smartphones more

Machine learning and data analysis video tutorials available from EMPIR project
2021-05-04

Project on factory of the future is building calibration capabilities for advanced, digital-only industrial sensors more

Figure: a) A calculated back focal plane image with θ=70°, ϕ=345° and z0 = 60nm. b) A measured back focal plane image of an NV-center. From J. Christinck et al., Appl. Phys. B 126, 161 (2020). Copyright PTB, published with kind permission of PTB
EMPIR project contributes to European Metrology Network for Quantum Technologies
2021-04-29

Improving sources of single photons to accelerate quantum technology innovation more

EMPIR project gives first access to algorithms used for MR-based EPT
2021-04-27

Assessing new MRI technologies using quantitative methods for more accurate clinical diagnoses more

Page 1 of 170.