The ALMERA network (Analytical Laboratories for the Measurement of Environmental Radioactivity) was established by the IAEA in 1995, and is a cooperative effort of analytical laboratories world-wide. Members of the network are nominated by their respective IAEA Member States as those laboratories which would be expected to provide reliable and timely analysis of environmental samples in the event of an accidental or intentional release of radioactivity.

ALMERA currently (September 2023) consists of 200 ​laboratories representing 90 countries. The Agency's Marine Environment Laboratories in Monaco and the Terrestrial Environmental Radiochemistry (TERC) Laboratory of the IAEA Physical and Chemical Sciences Division are additional members of the network. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Marine Environment Laboratories are the central coordinator of the ALMERA network's activities.

The IAEA helps the ALMERA network of laboratories to maintain their readiness by coordination activities including organization of meetings, development of standardized methods for sample collection and analysis, and organization of interlaboratory comparison exercises and proficiency tests as a tool for external quality control.

Participation of laboratories in the network activities results in:

    • Demonstration of technical competence of ALMERA laboratories through participation in proficiency tests;
    • Wider application of recommended validated methods and methodological harmonization, leading to enhanced world-wide comparability of environmental radioactivity measurement results;
    • Shared information on available analytical capabilities and expertise, which facilitates the identification of laboratories with competence in specific areas of interest, particularly in emergency situations.

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