EU-kommissionens forskningsinstitution för transuraner, ITU, inbjuder europeiska vetenskapsjournalister till studiebesök på deras anläggning i Karlsruhe den 19 mars. Alla kostnader täcks.

Invitation: See the European Commission's Atomic Detectives at work

Nuclear Security for the Media, 19 March 2009, JRC-ITU, Karlsruhe, Germany

Who? European Commission 'Atomic Detectives': Nuclear scientists from the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Transuranium Elements (JRC-ITU)

What? Exclusive press workshop and guided visit of JRC nuclear laboratories. Demonstrations of nuclear forensics and safeguards verification

When? 19 March 2009

Where? JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU), Karlsruhe, Germany.

While a world free of nuclear weapons remains a goal for governments around the world, the ongoing energy crisis is leading to a renaissance of civil nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. However, the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism is real and constitutes a major security challenge for the 21st century. European citizens are generally aware of efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. But they are unaware of behind-the-scenes international activity in nuclear security research and of how science is playing a key role.

Prevention, Detection and Response are the three pillars of the international community's reply to nuclear security challenges. The Joint Research Centre (JRC), through its Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU), is prepared to reveal the forensic science, tools and tactics developed and deployed by their team of 'atomic detectives' to overcome these challenges. Its nuclear experts will explain, for example:

How samples of seized illicitly trafficked radioactive materials and 'dust' particles from nuclear facilities are analysed (environmental sampling techniques);
How nuclear materials can be 'fingerprinted' and their source determined;
How the international community cooperates in the nuclear security field.

What will be on offer?

Welcome dinner: A dinner will be held on the evening before the event at which journalists will have an opportunity to speak informally with leading nuclear specialists.
Workshop: The March 19th workshop will comprise a general introduction to nuclear security followed by two short presentations on nuclear safeguards and forensics, with demonstrations of recent work in each domain. Participating media will have the opportunity to pose questions to leading nuclear experts on, for example, the current state of play on nuclear security and non-proliferation or the legal basis behind 'safeguards' work.
Tour of unique European facilities: Journalists will be taken inside the high security nuclear laboratories for a unique first-hand experience. No other civil laboratory in Europe offers such a broad spectrum of analytical capabilities for nuclear materials, where specialists can trace nuclear materials back to the facility in which they were produced, like a bullet back to its gun. JRC-ITU facilities visited will include:

the forensic laboratory with sophisticated mass spectrometers, fingerprint and DNA facilities;
the microscopy laboratory, with scanning and transmission electron microscopes, which have been specially modified for operation with contaminated samples;
the particle analysis laboratory, which consists of highly sensitive mass spectrometers (SIMS), optical microscopes and a clean room for the preparation of particle samples.
News announcements: A number of announcements will also be made on the occasion and journalists will be presented with a number of news story angles for reporting.

Interviews with scientists: opportunities for interviews will be facilitated, with on-site laboratory Q&A sessions, a networking lunch etc.

Specialists will also answer questions on additional activities undertaken at JRC-ITU, which include: targeted alpha-therapy; basic actinide research; research on the safety of nuclear fuel; spent fuel characterisation; partitioning and transmutation and measurement of radioactivity in the environment.

Logistical support

A final programme, details of the workshops and further logistical support around your participation will be sent to you in advance.

Closer to the event, we may suggest specific interview partners for you and provide background media materials to help inform your work.


Places on the overall programme are limited to 30 national and international members of the press. We would be delighted if you could represent your media outlet and country.

Further information: Eamonn Prendergast. Tel: +32 2 29 63015 E-mail:

Activities of the JRC: &