Instruments to assess Radionuclides


  • The Isotope Laboratory has various instruments to determine gamma-, beta- and alpha-emitting radionuclides.
  • Three Agilent Triple Quadrupole ICP-MS (ICP-QQQ-MS) are available to determine long-lived radionuclides, assess isotope ratios, and a large range of other elements in the periodic table.
  • A Bruker M4 Tornado micro-XRF can provide fast, non-destructive analysis of elemental composition and 2D distribution in a wide range of samples at microscopic spatial resolution.

At laboratories of our Norwegian partners

  • DSA has additional instruments and methods for determination of gamma-, beta- and alpha-emitting radionuclides

At laboratories of international collaborators

  • AMS facilities for determinations at very low concentration levels may be utilised at the Australian National University in Canberra and the Centro Acceleradores at the University of Seville in Spain.

Particles, Speciation and fractionation techniques

CERAD has 30 years of experience with speciation and fractionation of radionuclides and other elements in the environment. Equipment available at NMBU for in situ and in lab speciation analysis include the following:

  • Archive of particles (sub-micrometre to millimetre-sized, from different sources, of varying composition, size, crystalline structure and oxidation states)
  • Chromatography-hollow fibre and tangential flow systems, for use in aquatic field expeditions
  • FIFFF-ICP-MS (flow field flow fractionation), to study speciation
  • HPLC-ICP-MS to determine selenium species, including GPx

Synchrotron X-Ray radiation facilities and Imaging tools

Through collaboration with Norwegian and international research institutes, CERAD has access to the following:

  • ESEM-EDX, TEM, TOF-SIMS, nano-CT, synchrotron radiation nano-and microscopic techniques. A combination of SR techniques (i.e., 2D/3D µ-XRF – elemental distributions, µ-XRD - structure, µ-XANES – oxidation state) has been developed by NMBU and the University of Antwerp in collaboration with synchrotron beamline scientists. These techniques are utilized for particle research at facilities such as PETRA in Germany, and ESRF in France.
  • The Imaging Centre of NMBU is developing a state-of-the-art facility for microscopy (ESEM-EDX, TEM, confocal laser SEM, light microscopy, live cell imaging and spectroscopy (x-ray, RAMAN micro imaging etc). CERAD acts as an important node for the further development of expertise and instrumentation (stereo microscope with micromanipulation, micro-XRF, micro-XRD).

Experimental Facilities


  • The low-medium dose gamma radiation exposure facility (Figaro), providing a continuous dose-rate field from 3 Gy/hr down to 400 μGy/hr, and allowing for simultaneous chronic exposure of samples of various test organisms over the whole dose-rate field.
  • The Fish laboratory – transfer and effect experiments on freshwater and marine fish species.
  • The Zebrafish platform– for transfer and effect studies on Zebrafish.
  • Phytotron: greenhouses for experiments on plant uptake and effects.
  • Climate chambers for combined UV and gamma exposure experiments


  • The Mouse platform– for transfer and effect studies on mice.

Biological effects toolbox

CERAD has created a toolbox for the systematic interspecies comparison of the harmful effects of chronic exposure to radioactivity, allowing additional stressors such as radionuclides, toxic metals and UV. Model species selected so far include mammals, fish, invertebrates and plants.


To improve the assessment of impacts and risks from radioactivity, CERAD partners have interfaced several of their models:

  • Models of air/marine transport and real time/historic/future prognostic meteorological data are further developed by MET and DSA.
  • Ecosystem transport models: Advanced fresh water (NIVA) and terrestrial (DSA) models, advanced models on dosimetry (DSA), as well as models of human and wild life food chains (DSA) have been interfaced.
  • Tools for Environmental Risk from Ionising Contaminants: Assessment and Management(ERICA) and Cumulative Risk Assessment (CRA) are used to predict the hazard and risk of single as well as multiple stressors (DSA, NMBU and NIVA).
  • CERAD has so far created two parts of an economic model for consequences of radioactive contamination due to nuclear events: 1) consequences for agriculture and 2) for recreational fisheries.
Published 16. December 2015 - 6:23 - Updated 4. November 2020 - 9:25