Laboratory's independence provides DOE and other regulatory authorities greater assurance of unbiased, defensible results

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education’s (ORISE) Radiological and Environmental Analytical Laboratory (REAL) performs independent analysis of environmental samples, construction materials, waste materials, as well as other sample types for radiological and metal contaminants. The laboratory supports the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency. The REAL is a member of the DOE’s National Analytical Management Program, the EPA’s Environmental Response Laboratory Network, and is a DOE Voluntary Protection Program star member.

Located in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the laboratory meets or exceeds numerous industry standards for quality. The laboratory maintains ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program accreditation, and is an approved facility under the DOE Consolidated Audit Program (DOECAP). The REAL can analyze soil, water, air filters, wipes, vegetation and biota, among others. The laboratory performs analyses for all radiological contaminants, including alpha, beta, and gamma emitting radionuclides. In addition, REAL has the capability for total metals analysis, toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) metals and isotopic uranium by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS).

ORISE Radiological and Environmental Analytical Laboratory sampling process

ORISE Radiological and Environmental Analytical Laboratory sampling process

The laboratory participates in several performance evaluation programs, including the DOE Mixed Analyte Performance Evaluation Program (MAPEP), the NRC’s Intercomparison Testing Program (ITP), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Radiochemistry Intercomparison Program. ORISE has maintained an excellent record for these performance evaluation programs, with better than a 99% acceptance rating.

The laboratory does not participate in projects that create potential or perceived conflict of interest or that otherwise jeopardize the impartiality of independent assessment and verification work for DOE and other regulatory authorities. This autonomy provides a greater assurance to stakeholders that the result obtained is not biased by commercial interests.