The applications of nuclear techniques invariably involves instrumentation which requires proper operation, calibration and maintenance. The advances in nuclear instrumentation as well as the consequent high rate of obsolescence result in a continuous need to update the knowledge and practical skills of the users and associated maintenance staff. The IAEA supports Member States laboratories in establishing and/or upgrading their national and regional capabilities in the effective use of nuclear instruments through training, consultancy services and provision of equipment. The beneficiaries are users of nuclear techniques in different sectors of development, environmental quality management, nuclear energy, industry, human health and food and agriculture.
Major focus in the IAEA assistance is on human resources development. The practical training on modern nuclear electronics, operation, calibration and maintenance of nuclear instruments is provided in the Nuclear Spectrometry and Applications Laboratory at Seibersdorf as well as in the national and regional nuclear instrumentation centers which were established with the IAEA assistance.
A number of disturbances which contaminate the electric power supplies and harsh environmental conditions may have harmful effects on the instruments. Therefore, protection of the instruments against power line disturbances is of high importance and might be one of the most efficient preventive maintenance measures.