ICRM History

It is generally accepted that the ICRM as a formal organization grew from the good and efficient contacts among radionuclide metrologists from several countries who participated in the First International Summer School on Radionuclide Metrology in Hercig Novi, Yugoslavia from 21 August to 1 September, 1972. The excellent proceedings of that first meeting were published as a Special Issue of Nuclear Instruments and Methods (NIM 112(1-2) 1973). The Bylaws were adopted at the General Meeting in Gaithersburg, Maryland (USA) in May 1997.

This was not the first meeting of radionuclide metrologists. Because of the increasing number of fission product and accelerator produced radionuclides after mid-century, there were a growing number of national standards laboratories developing methods of absolute standardization. Recognizing the needs the International Atomic Energy Agency had organized two international symposia. The proceeding of the first of these, held in Vienna from 14-16 October, 1959 was published by the IAEA as "Metrology of Radionuclides," IAEA STI/PUB 6, Vienna, 1960. The proceedings of the second symposium, about six years later, were published as "Standardization of Radionuclides," IAEA STI/PUB 139, Vienna, 1967.

Many of the same participants attended these three meetings, and by the time of the Hercig Novi Summer School there was a growing consensus that the community was large enough to support a permanent committee to promote applications of radionuclide metrology. A listing of the Editorial Board for the Proceedings of the Hercig Novi Summer School is given below. This list serves to demonstrate the widespread interest in the growing field and to give the names of prominent metrologists who were to play leading roles in the organization over the next three decades.

Two of these individuals, in particular, had prepared draft histories of the ICRM covering different periods of time. Dr. Dj. Bek-Uzarov from the Boris Kidric Institute in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (Serbia) gave an account of the formative years of the ICRM up until 1981. Dr. Walter Bambynek, from the European Community laboratory in Geel, Belgium (the Central Bureau for Nuclear Measurements or “Euratom” was renamed the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements in 1992 and, in 2016, the JRC-Geel) updated this account to 1990. Efforts continue toward combining these valuable records, and bring the history up to date in the 21st century.

This complete history will certainly include a comprehensive bibliography of the proceedings of the General Meetings of the ICRM and the proceedings from topical workshops and symposia sponsored by the Working Groups. The most recent examples are the proceedings of the ICRM1999 Prague conference in Applied Radiation and Isotopes 52(3) 2000. And the Proceedings of the ICRM Low-Level Radioactivity Measurement Techniques Conference, held in Mol, Belgium in 1999 (Applied Radiation and Isotopes 53(1-2) 2000). Comparing the contributions in these volumes with those from the Hercig Novi Summer School gives an indication of the tremendous progress in radionuclide metrology and its applications during the latter part of the 20th century.

Editorial Board for: Proceedings of the Hercig Novi Summer School on Radionuclide Metrology.

A.P. Baerg (Ottawa)     G.C. Lowenthal (Lucas Heights)
W. Bambynek (Geel) W.B. Mann (Washington)
Dj. Bek-Uzarov (Belgrade) J.S. Merritt (Chalk River)
P.J. Campion (Teddington) A. Milojevic (Belgrade)
R. Cervellati (Casaccia) A. Rytz (Sevres)
Lj. Dobrilovic (Belgrade) A. Spernol (Geel)
L. Griogorescu (Bucharest) J. Steyn (Pretoria)
B. Grinberg (Saclay) J.G.V. Taylor (Chalk River)
H. Houtermans (Vienna) H.M. Weiss (Braunschweig)
L. Kokta (Prague) A. Williams (Teddington)
Y. Le Gallic (Saclay) L. Yaffe (Montreal)
J. Legrand (Saclay) K. Zsdanszky (Budapest)

Inquiries or comments: lisa.karam@nist.gov
Online: January 2001   -   Last update: October 2021