Laboratory of Marine Isotopic Technology and Environmental Risk Assessment


TIO set up the research group of marine radioactive isotope and the research group of marine radioactive ecology in 1962 and 1974 respectively, which were the two earliest institutes in China engaged in the research of marine radioactivity. Over 50 years of development and accumulation, in 2013, the Laboratory of Marine Isotopic Technology & Environmental Risk Assessment (Lab-MITERA) was established to conduct comprehensive research on marine nuclear science. The main research areas of the laboratory are as follows: 1) analyzing methods of marine radionuclide; 2) developing of radioactivity monitoring technology and equipment; 3) application of marine isotopes as tracers; 4) marine radioecology studies; 5) marine radiation risk assessment; 6) key technologies for the safety supervision of marine environmental radiation .

The laboratory is now staffed with 22 researchers, including three research fellows, three associate research fellows, eight Ph.D. degree holders, and three master’s degree holders. A special laboratory building, covering a total floor area of about 2,000m2, is provided for scientific research. The building has a radiation chemistry laboratory, a radiation ecological laboratory, a low background lab and an R&D laboratory for monitoring instruments. In addition, the lab possesses a wide range of top-notch radiation detection instruments worth over 30 million yuan, including 30-plus sets of high-purity germanium gamma spectrometry, low-background alpha spectrometry, ultra-low level liquid scintillation spectrometry, etc. Its management has been recognized by the ISO-9000 Quality Management System (CNAS) and China Metrology Accreditation (CMA). It is qualified for and capable of testing over 20 kinds of artificial and natural radionuclides. Its major research projects at national and local levels focus on the following sea areas: coastal waters in China such as the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea; oceans such as the Western Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean; the Antarctica and the Arctic regions. 


The laboratory has always attached great importance to cooperation and exchanges both domestically and globally. A long-term sound partnership has been established with international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other major research organizations on marine radioactivity in western countries. It has proved its prominence in IAEA international proficiency tests for radionuclide analysis. In 2011, it joined hands with Tsinghua University to establish the “Social Practice and Pilot Base for Graduate Students” to organize activities such as academic exchanges, technical cooperation, and talent trainings annually that are still running today. In 2013, the PICES Working Group on Assessment of Marine Environmental Quality of Radiation around the North Pacific was established, with TIO acting as the leading institute, and Mr. Zhang Yusheng from TIO was assigned as the first president of the working group. In 2014, the laboratory founded the National Nuclear Emergency Technical Support Center for Marine Radiation Monitoring.