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Life Science Division

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The Life Science Division(LSD) is mainly involved in the following sectors:

  1. Provision of Analytical Services to Customers
  2. Food and Agriculture related R&D
  3. Health and Environment related R&D

LSD is mainly responsible for providing efficient and effective analytical services based on Nuclear Analytical Technique in Compliance with international standards to fulfill customer satisfaction, serving the nation through utilization of Nuclear Technology for Agriculture, Health and Environmental sectors for Socio-economic development in the country and becoming a reference laboratory for nuclear analytical techniques with international acceptance.


 01. Nuclear Analytical Services for Environmental, Health, Commercial and Agricultural Sectors

The specific objective of Nuclear Analytical services Section is to establish a reference laboratory for nuclear analytical techniques in Sri Lanka and this laboratory provides professional and standardized services for Sri Lankan exporters, importers, researchers and other customers.

During the year 2013, a number of 3839 milk food samples were analyzed and issued analytical reports to the customers. Quality of milk food imported to the country is tested for possible radioactivity contamination through this activity assuring the safety of consumers. A number of 1400 frozen fish and canned fish samples were analyzed from imported consignments during 2013 and issued analytical reports to customers and importers. through this activity quality of frozen fish and canned fish imported to the country is tested for possible radioactivity contamination assuring the safety of consumers. Tea and other samples analyzed during the year 2013 were 1673.

02. Use of Nuclear Technology for Agricultural Sector for enhancing the productivity and Quality

The Specific objective of the agriculture section is to promote the nuclear technology for agricultural activities to meet the national requirements.

03. Use of Nuclear Technology for R & D activities in Environmental and Health sectors 


Contribution made by Low level Gamma Counting Laboratory of Life Sciences Division to Research and Development(R&D) Activities in Sri Lanka during 2013 using HPGe Gamma Spectrometry System

Number of Samples
1  Environment Radioactivity monitoring programme to establish Baseline database for Sri Lanka  92
 2  Soil erosion studies (RAS-50-55)  71
 3 Marine Radioactivity Monitoring programme under (RAS/7/21)  26
4 Biodosimetry project-Faculty of Medicine, Uni of Kelaniya 6
5 Gem samples & Meteorite samples, University of Peradeniya 10
6 Fish and Milk based samples collected from consumer market 41
7 Special samples received from Emergency preparedness programme & Multipurpose Gamma Irradiation Facility (MGIF) for radiation protection purpose. 6
8 Proficiency Testing(PT) & Laboratory Inter-comparison Testing ( QA/QC programme) 8
Total 260


Nuclear Analytical Testing (NAT) Capabilities
This Division has three major Nuclear Analytical Laboratories Low Level Counting lab for Gamma spectrometry, Low Level Counting lab for alpha and beta spectrometry and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analytical laboratory. In the XRF laboratory, Energy Dispersive XRF and Total Reflection XRF (TXRF) facilities are available for solid and liquid sample analysis mainly for Heavy Metal analysis. Low level counting lab for gamma spectrometry has already been accredited for gamma analysis of selected isotopes in 2006. The XRF laboratory has also accredited for several selected analysis in 2010. The laboratories adopt the ISO 17025 international standards.

Low Level Gamma Counting Laboratory

This laboratory of the AEB is the only laboratory for radioactivity measurements which has obtained national accreditation in compliance with ISO IEC 17025 from National Accreditation Board. It uses equipment calibrated according to international standards and employs skilled and trained staff with good professional practice to achieve the goals. Major activities are as follows.

Radioactivity measurements in Food (Milk powder etc) and Agricultural products (Tea, Coconut etc) are done at present at this laboratory.  In addition low level radioactivity measurement in soil, vegetation etc.are also done for baseline establishment for radioactivity levels in the country.  In order to establish the marine radioactivity baseline data, sea sediment, sea water and marine biota are also analyzed.  Apart from the regular analysis, depending on the requests from clients, special type of analysis are also undertaken by the laboratory for radioactivity measurements.

HPGe Gamma detector system


Available Analytical Facilities and Analytical Services:


Facilities Applications
Scintillation Detectors(NaI Type)

Food Testing Service

Gamma emitting Radionuclide analysis

Semiconductor (HPGe)Detectors Detail analysis of Gamma emitting Radionuclides in food, vegetation, soils, sediments etc
Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Analyzer (EDXRF) Analytical services for Private and government institutes, Elemental analysis , mainly for heavy metals, R&D, training purposes, Archeological samples
Total Reflection XRF( TXRF) Analytical services, Heavy metal in Water samples, Heavy metals in biological samples
Alpha Spectrometry (PIPS) and Radiochemistry Analysis of Alpha emitting radionuclides, Pu-239, Pu-240, U-234,U-235, U-238, Th-232, Th-230, Th-229, Th-227, Th-228, Am-241, Po-210 etc
Sample Preparation facility Grinders-agate, Precision Balance, ASTM Type II water

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Laboratory

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) is the emission of characteristic "secondary" (or fluorescent) X-rays from a material that has been excited by bombarding with high-energy X-rays.
This laboratory has both EDXRF (Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence) and TXRF (Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence) facilities used for elemental analysis and chemical analysis, particularly in the investigation of metals, water, soil, liquid based samples and biomedical samples and for research in geochemistry, forensic science and archaeology.

Complete XRF Instrument


EDXRF Technique

Using EDXRF technique heavy metal concentrations in soil and other materials (food, plants etc),and also metal composition in alloys can be determined.

EDXRF unit


TXRF Technique
Using high sensitive TXRF technique elemental concentrations in tracer levels can be analyzed in water, liquid based samples and biomedical samples.

Low Level Alpha- beta Counting Laboratory
This laboratory has alpha spectroscopy system and beta spectroscopy system which allow to measure alpha and beta emitting radio-nuclides. The establishment of analytical procedures is underway for alpha and beta spectroscopic analytical service. It is expected to utilize this facility for Gross alpha measurements in water and other similar samples in the beginning and to extend the analysis for other samples. It has initiated the analysis of radionuclide specific alpha emitting radio-nuclide analysis using radiochemical techniques and alpha spectrometry. The environmental radioactivity monitoring programme is being supported by this laboratory too.

Alpha Spectrometry InstrumentAlpha spectrum


ISO Accredited Laboratory

ISO 17025-accreditation is the highest level of quality attainable by a testing laboratory. LLC Lab is an accredited testing laboratory operating in conformance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 international Standards. It has demonstrated both the technical competency and management system requirements necessary to consistently deliver technically valid test results through the participation in Proficiency Testing programmes conducted by IAEA.  These standards are universally recognized as the highest level of quality attainable by a testing laboratory.

Currently involved Projects;

Regional Activities:

1.RAS/7/023; Sustainable Air Pollution Monitoring Using Nuclear Analytical Technology
Objective: to identify the main pollutant sources, source contributions and long-term trends of air particulate matter pollution in Kandy area and develop a database of source receptor inventories.

2. RAS/7/024: Supporting Nuclear and Isotopic Techniques to Assess Climate Change Impact for Sustainable Marine Ecosystem Management
Objective: to develop local/regional capacities and capabilities in the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques for marine pollution management and use an   integrated approach to address the impact of climate change in the marine environment.

3.RAS5062; Building Technological Capability for Food Traceability and Food Safety Control Systems Through the Use of Nuclear Analytical Techniques
Objective: In order to develop a fingerprint, an extensive quality-assured database of authentic food samples is required

4.RAS/7/O21; Marine Benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific Region
Objective: In view of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident of March 2011, the IAEA/RCA has initiated the above RAS/7/021 project to evaluate the extent and the possible impact of the releases of radioactivity in the marine environment. 

5.RAS/ 5055; Improving Soil Fertility, Land Productivity and Land Degradation Mitigation
Objective: To assist Member States in the development and effective implementation of area-wide precision conservation to control the impact of land-use practices on land degradation through enhancing capacities in nuclear and isotopic techniques

Upcoming Events

Recent Publications



   Second International Symposium on Water Quality and Human Health:  15th and 16th of March 2013


2.Baseline Radioactivity of Soil in Sri Lanka, Submitted for publication at Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), Dec2012

3.Determination of Cesium-137 and Cesium -134 radioactivity levels in fish consumed by Sri Lankans after recent Nuclear Power Plant accident occurred in Fukushima, Japan (Preliminary results), Submitted for publication at Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), Dec2012

Director Life Sciences :  Mrs. Champa Dissanayake   E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel: 011 2533427-8 (General) Mobile : +94 718488383
Fax: 0094-112-533448


Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 09:36  

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