- Conference date: 6–9 October 2008
- Location: Bucharest (Romania)
For 40 years, STEME (Environmental Sample Processing and Metrology Department) organized international proficiency testing (PT) exercises formerly for WHO (World Health Organization) and EC (European Community) and currently for ASN (French Nuclear Safety Authority). Five PT exercises are organized each year for the measurement of radionuclides (alpha, beta and gamma) in different matrixes (water, soil, biological and air samples) at environmental levels. ASN can deliver a French ministerial agreement to participate on environmental radioactivity measurements French network for laboratories asking it . Since 2006, November, STEME is the first French entity obtaining a COFRAC (French Committee of Accreditation) accreditation as “Interlaboratory Comparisons” for the organization of proficiency tests for environmental radioactivity measurement according to standard International Standard Organization (ISO) 17025 and guide ISO 43–1. STEME has in charge to find, as far as possible, real sample or to create, by radionuclide adding, an adapted sample. STEME realizes the sampling, the samples preparation and the dispatching. STEME is also accredited according to Standard 17025 for radioactivity measurements in environmental samples and determines homogeneity, stability and reference values. After the reception of participating laboratories results, STEME executes statistical treatments in order to verify the normal distribution, to eliminate outliers and to evaluate laboratories performance.
Laboratories participate with several objectives, to obtain French agreement, to prove the quality of their analytical performance in regards to standard 17025 or to validate new methods or latest developments. For 2 years, in addition to usual PT exercises, new PT about alpha or beta measurement in air filters, radioactive iodine in carbon cartridges or measurement of environmental dosimeters are organized. These PT exercises help laboratories to improve radioactive measurements and to rectify old mistakes. The PT exercises organized by STEME are becoming essential for French and some European laboratories working in radioactive measurements.
The STEME organization, in respect of accreditation references, is presented.
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