The Analytical and Calibration Services (ACS) laboratories are situated at Necsa, Elias Motsoaledi Street (Church Street West Extension), R104, Madibeng District, North West Province +/- 20 km West of Pretoria, South Africa.
Necsa: Analytical & Calibration Services Department (ACS)
ACS consist of three specialised laboratories with SANAS accredited services:
- RadioAnalysis (RA) – radioactivity analysis,
- Pelindaba Analytical Services (PAL) – chemical analysis, and
- Calibration Services (CAL) – calibration of ionising radiation and contamination monitoring/protection equipment
These facilities are licensed with the NNR to handle Uranium containing samples and other radioactive samples as well.
Our services have been customised to meet the specific needs of the nuclear, fluorine and related industries and play a crucial role in safety, health and environmental control, monitoring programmes, production process monitoring and the certification of product quality from the production facilities at Necsa and in the South African industry in general.
ACS offers an extensive range of services, which can be classified into the following major categories:
- Radioactivity monitoring, analysis of radioactivity,
- Chemical analysis (including water analysis, trace metal analysis, trace gas analysis as well as gas sampling), and
- Calibration of ionising radiation and contamination monitors (including repairs for selected instruments).
Calibration Laboratory (CAL)
CAL is a SANAS accredited Ionising Radiation Metrology laboratory (1203), specialising in the following services:
CAL metrologists will assist you with identifying the best solution for the calibration and repair of radiation protection equipment.
Personnel radiation protection instrument calibration
CAL is equipped to calibrate electronic personal dosimeters (EPDs and QFDs), which is used to ensure personnel safety.
Portable radiation protection instrument calibration
CAL routinely calibrates a wide range of portable and area/access control radioactivity radiation and contamination monitors.
Access/egress radiation protection instrument calibration
A specialist team is equipped to calibrate fixed position radiation and contamination monitors in radio logically restricted areas at clients’ premises.
Coaching of radiation protection and safety personnel
Assistance is provided in coaching radiation protection personnel in the handling, care and maintenance of radiation and contamination monitors to ensure the extended useful life of these instruments.
Calibration of stack- and stack sampler flow rate meters for emission monitoring.
Support for installation of in-line ionizing radiation monitors (noble gas monitoring).
Pelindaba Analytical Laboratories (PAL)
PAL is a SANAS accredited laboratory (T0168) providing chemical analytical services, which include specialization in uranium and fluoride chemistry-related analysis, as well as sampling and analysis support for environmental and process monitoring. The following analytical services are provided:
PAL scientists will assist you with identifying the best solution for nuclear, environmental and gas chemistry analysis needs, based on years of experience in the field. PAL has developed systems for stack emission, workplace air, process emissions and on-line plant sampling of airborne chemicals.
PAL routinely performs analyses for most elements in the periodic table at concentrations from percentage level to parts per trillion. Elemental analysis can be performed in a variety of sample matrices including water, metal, alloys, chemical compounds, dust, soil, agricultural and biological samples. Sampling requirements and sample preparation is critical and the consultants will provide advice and guidance on these requirements.
Additional information may be obtained by performing a XRF analysis or ICP analysis in scan mode to identify the major components when working with unknown samples.
The laboratory is accredited by SANAS for the analysis of uranium isotopes in urine at parts per trillion levels.
PAL performs gas sampling and gas analysis using various gas chromatography (GC) techniques including GC-MS. Other instrumentation includes Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), ion chromatography (IC) and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems for gas samples absorbed onto or into a suitable absorption material. The analyses include:
Trace impurities in gases: CO, CO2, HF, SF6, N2, O2, H2 , CH1-4 using GC/PDHID and FTIR
Freon analysis (refrigerants) using GC/MS and performed according to the AHRI-700 Standard
Ion chromatography (IC) analysis for: Cl, F, SO4, NO3, NO2, PO4
Moisture in gas samples using coulometry.
PAL has developed gas sampling instrumentation, which allows the sampling of gasses without contamination or the need for power. These may be used in the field where there is no power or down in a mine without any hazard of causing explosions. This sampling equipment allows for accurate sampling and analysis of any air sample eg: exhaust gases, stack emissions, ambient air and even toxic gases.
PAL routinely measures a wide suite of analytes in water samples including pH, conductivity, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, hardness, alkalinity, orthophosphate, free chlorine, oxygen demand, oxygen absorbed, ammonia, anions, cations, e-coli, faecal-coli as well as oil and grease.
SANAS accreditation is in place for the analysis of pH, Electrical Conductivity, Dissolved solids, Ortho and Total Phosphate, Fluoride and Ammonia.
Uranium related analysis
A licensed facility is available to perform analysis on Uranium containing compounds for uranium, isotopic composition of Uranium and impurities in Uranium. It is accredited for the isotopic and impurities in Uranium analysis. This facility also participates regularly in the NBL proficiency testing for uranium analysis.
Water analyses (pH, EC, PO4, F-, TDS, TSS, COD, Ca, K, Na, Mg, e-coli, faecal-coli etc.)
Chemical & elemental major (%), minor (high ppm), trace (ppm) & ultra trace (ppt) analysis for drinking and waste water analysis. Drinking water, as well as waste water, must comply with the South African national standard for drinking water (SANS-241 specification). Note that Uranium is also included in the latest specification and these laboratories can perform these analyses.
This is the only laboratory in South Africa, which is SANAS Accredited for the analysis of uranium isotopes in liquids at ultra trace levels.
Bio-monitoring of personnel
Routine monitoring of personnel is supported through urine analysis, which includes fluoride, uranium isotopes and other heavy metals.
RadioAnalysis is a SANAS accredited radio analytical laboratory (T0111) specialising in the measurement of radioactivity in solids, liquids and air.
Analytical & Calibration Services Laboratories
Radioactivity is a naturally occurring phenomenon that manifests everywhere around, and even inside, us. Plants, water, rocks, the air we breathe and the potassium in our bones all contain low levels of radioactive substances. This has been so since the creation of the universe. When radiation passes through matter it transfers energy to atoms and molecules. When the radiation is sufficiently energetic, it will knock electrons out of atoms to form charged ions and free electrons – a process known as ionisation. When radiation is energetic enough to cause ionisation it is called ionizing radiation. The energetic shorter wavelength ultraviolet radiation in the sun’s spectrum is a well-known form of ionizing radiation and can cause skin damage through disruption of atomic and molecular bonds. Radioactive radiation is an even more energetic form of ionizing radiation. The three principle kinds are alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays.
Protection from radiation and the measurement of allowed personnel radiation exposure is closely related. The measurement of alpha and beta particles and gamma radiation is performed using a variety of techniques e.g.: alpha and beta counters and gamma spectrometers.
This measurement for radioactivity is performed through the following services:
Scientists will assists you with identifying the best solution for radioactivity analysis needs, based on years of experience in the field, including advice on sampling and sample preparation for radionuclide analyses.
Bio-monitoring of Personnel
Routine analyses are undertaken of urine (for ingested total uranium, tritium and actinides) and personal air filters (gross radioactivity on personal air filters).
To ensure the personnel are working in a safe environment it is necessary to determine their exposure to ionising radiation. For this purpose it is required to perform regular radioactivity measurements on surface contamination smears, radioactive source leak tests, area air filters and stack emission filters for radioactivity (gross alpha beta and iodine).
Processing and Waste Monitoring
Radioactive monitoring of liquid, solid and gaseous waste is supported (radioactive stack emission sample analysis for gross uranium, tritium, iodine releases, low and high level radioactivity characterisation of liquid waste)
Routine analyses are carried out for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMs) and manmade radioactivity in various sample matrices: analysis of water (bottled, drinking, river, dam, borehole), agricultural produce (including certification of cesium levels in import/export shipments), biological (milk, vegetables, meat, fish, plants) and geological (soil, sediment, rock) samples for uranium and thorium decay chain progeny and man-made radioactive materials.
Integrity testing of radioactive source containers by analysis of surface smears to detect leaks.
Certification of radionuclide and radiochemical purity of active pharmaceutical ingredients for medical radioisotopes (Mo-99 and I-131).
ACS Sample Reception:
A dedicated laboratory sample and instrument reception for all three the laboratories is available at Gate 1 (Receptionist: Mrs Hantie Visagie (012) 305 5728). GPS co-ordinates S25 47.905 E27 54.787
Please contact us for further information or go to the bottom of the page to fill in a general enquiry form and we will contact you:
Tel: +27 12 305 4513
Fax: +27 12 305 4398
Please complete the form below for any analytical or calibration service enquiries:
(NOTE: For training or vacancies information please see the related links on the Necsa home page)