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Klaus Mayer, JRC scientist - Nuclear Forensic

The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house science service, presents its Faces of Science series - showcasing the human face of the scientific advice supporting EU policy.

Safeguards and security

The JRC provides technical and scientific support in the areas of nuclear measurements, process monitoring, containment and surveillance and advanced safeguards approaches. This includes the development of tools to support the identification of illicit procurement activities, as well as the development and implementation of EU strategic export controls through technical assessments and capacity building programmes. Find out more in this short video.

Nuclear training

In addition to training provided at the national level, the JRC is enhancing cross-border cooperation, experts' networking and the provision of centralised knowledge management tools. Advanced training in material detection and identification, management of radiological crime scenes and development of national response plans are also offered as main activities in this area. Find out more in this short video.

Atomic detectives

The JRC has developed methods for investigating seized materials and developed response plans for incidents involving nuclear material. In this video you can see scientists demonstrate how seized nuclear material is analysed by forensic methods, how inspectors are trained and how nuclear materials from the smallest pellet or even dust samples can be 'fingerprinted' or attributed. These fingerprints provide clues on the particular place of origin from anywhere in the world.

The basics of nuclear energy research

Studies of the actinide elements and compounds are motivated by the need to characterise their structural and thermodynamic properties for the development of nuclear fuels and the treatment of waste, whether it be long-term storage or ideas involving transmutation in high-powered accelerators or fast reactors. Basic understanding of the physico-chemical properties, starting with the electronic structure, is needed to develop predictive theories of technological relevance. Find out more in this short video.

Nuclear fuel safety

The JRC performs direct nuclear fuel safety research in its state-of-the-art experimental facilities. Its research focuses on safety limits of nuclear fuels and cycles under normal and accidental scenarios, and on the fuels’ behaviour under harsh reactor conditions. The safety of the nuclear fuel also includes the nuclear waste management and decommissioning and emergency preparedness. Find out more in this short video.

The JRC's prime objectives in the field of nuclear safety and security

JRC's prime objectives are to serve as a reference centre for basic actinide research, to contribute to an effective safety, security and safeguards system for the nuclear fuel cycle, and to study technological and medical applications of radionuclides/actinides. Find out more in this short video.

Atomic detectives (Euronews - Futuris)

The detection and the identification of illegally transported or stored nuclear material constitute a major line of defense against illicit trafficking. The JRC has developed various techniques that allow identification of the origin of intercepted material, the route it could have taken and the probable intended use. (Euronews - Futuris)

The nuclear cycle

Did you know that one third of Europe's energy is produced by nuclear reactors and there are around 130 reactors operating in 14 EU countries? The choice to use nuclear power or not in each of the 28 EU Member States is a national decision. Some countries have nuclear phase-out policies, whilst others are opting for long-term operation and lifetime extension of their nuclear plants. This is a comprehensive overview of the work of the JRC in the domain of nuclear safety and security - a complex but fascinating field of research!

Elisa Pirovano, JRC scientist - Linear Electron Accelerator facility (GELINA)

The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house science service, presents its Faces of Science series - showcasing the human face of the scientific advice supporting EU policy.

Peter Siegler, JRC scientist - Nuclear Safety, Security & Safeguards

The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house science service, presents its Faces of Science series - showcasing the human face of the scientific advice supporting EU policy.

Keith Cairns, JRC scientist - GELINA Control Room

The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house science service, presents its Faces of Science series - showcasing the human face of the scientific advice supporting EU policy.

Goedele Sibbens, JRC scientist - Nuclear Data

The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house science service, presents its Faces of Science series - showcasing the human face of the scientific advice supporting EU policy.