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Lebanese Atomic Energy Comission

Lebanese Atomic Energy Comission

Establishment and mission

The CNRS established the LAEC in 1996 with the full support of the IAEA for preparing the national legal and technical infrastructures allowing an effective implementation of a comprehensive radiation safety scheme in the country.

Lebanon has signed and ratified all relevant multilateral and international legal binding instruments in the field of safety, security and safeguards and it is closely cooperating with the IAEA for harmonizing its legal and regulatory framework in accordance to its international obligations and in compliance with the latest IAEA safety standards and covers technical aspects that aimed to enhance substantially radiological safety and nuclear security in several key areas.

Shortly after its establishment, the LAEC, in cooperation with the IAEA through its technical cooperation program, started to set up analytical laboratories and develop the technical competence of its staff in order to make use of nuclear and related analytical techniques in different important areas such as environment, human health, food safety, preservation of cultural heritage, and industrial development.

Medical and Occupational Exposure

The accuracy of Radiation measurement is a must in radiation safety. Radiation dose for patients and workers dealing with ionizing radiation within the IAEA/BSS has been monitored and controlled..

Calibration of Radiation

Measurement Instruments

The Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL) is the national laboratory in the field of calibration of ionizing radiation detectors. It was established in 2007 and it provides calibration in terms of air kerma, personnel equivalent dose Hp (10), ambient dose equivalent H* (10) in the field of radiation protection.

Individual Dose Measurement

 The IMS (Individual Monitoring System) laboratory is monitoring approximately 3500 workers dealing with regulated areas.

The Laboratory is using TLD (thermos luminescence dosimeter) for both whole body assessment and area monitoring purposes. Additional TLD can be delivered for interventional X-ray to assess the extremity dose.  C 34.

The IMS laboratory’s performance has been demonstrated through its participation in many proficiency tests, with highly satisfactory results especially at high doses. In addition, the results development of quality control and quality assurance system will permit the laboratory to generate highly reliable results and consequently be well prepared for accreditation according to ISO 17025.

Quality Control(QC) of X—ray equipment- 
The department is covering the QC of X-ray Equipment and delivers official certificates in this regards that are used for the License request as well as for the accreditation demand. QC is performed on a yearly basis. The number of QC certificates delivered to X-ray facilities throughout the country amounts to around 500 per year.

Workplace Monitoring 
Workplace monitoring maintains an acceptable protection in the working environment from radiation hazards. Monitoring includes measurements and radiological assessment of the results obtained. More than 400 workplace monitoring missions are implemented yearly by the department.

Border Radiation Control, Physical Protection, Emergency

TThere is an outgrowing industry in the use of radioactive sources in Lebanon, so the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission is concerned with raising the level of security awareness and providing assistance, when possible, to facilities using Category I and Il radioactive sources. Assistance includes all aspects related to the secure management of radioactive sources whether these sources are disused or in use, and also preventive measures to combat illicit trafficking of radioactive materials.

Physical Protection - Missions

accomplished during the period 2008-2011 include (i) Physical Protection Systems North Hospital and Rizk Hospital (2008), (ii) 36 Co-60 sources were repatriated from the Agricultural Research Institute back to their country of origin (2009), (iii) One Co-60 source was repatriated from the American University Hospital back to its country of origin.

Combating the Illicit Trafficking of Radioactive Materials
Since 1999, LAEC has been providing radiation control services and monitoring on the borders, with a total of 9 checkpoints (Sea ports, land ports, and the airport), in addition to random visits to the scrap yards spread all over the Lebanese territories.
These activities were developed progressively, and implemented with close coordination and cooperation with relevant ministries, the Lebanese customs and the IAEA. Incidents and captured materials are monitored and registered officially and are sent to the IAEA through the Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB).

Radioactive Waste Management 
During the past few years, the temporary radioactive waste store received different orphan sources and contaminated material located mainly in scrap material.

Licensing Practices Dealing with Ionizing Radiation
The regulatory decree 15512 of the Decree Law 105/83 was issued in 19/10/2005; in this decree LAEC was recognized as the national regulatory and control authority for all practices dealing with ionizing radiation in Lebanon (import/export/use/decommissioning/safe transport/waste/national register, environmental monitoring, and preparation of regulations/cooperation).

Applied Research and Development

The department of applied research and development is mainly involved in the use of nuclear and related analytical techniques aiming to develop new methods for elemental chemical and molecular characterization for various kinds of samples even for complex liquid or solid matrix.
The research work is targeting different key areas such as forensic, science, environment, food safety, pharmaceutical, material science and tracheotomy.
The laboratories are equipped with technical analytical capabilities, headed by high level scientists and skilled personnel and are actively cooperating with national and foreign research institutions and universities. During the past five years, more than 60 articles were published in peer reviewed international journals. This research involved 9 Ph.D. student and more than 25 graduates and undergraduates. In addition to research activity, the department provides high quality and reliable services and consultancies for the private and the public sectors.

Nano imaging and Surface Mass Spectrometry

Studies on the effect of ionizing radiation on specific polymer and painting as well as the characterization of printed paper and glass are also under investigation ¡n the laboratory.

Characterization of Binary Drug by TO F-SIMS.
A project related to the analysis of drug using TOF-SIMS has been launched for the characterization and for potential semi quantification of active ingredients (ALS) in commercial medicines.
Microorganisms and Food irradiation
The Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food irradiation was established in January 2009 in order to conduct research in in the following areas:

Food irradiation is a technology for controlling spoilage and eliminating food-borne pathogens, such as salmonella. Research on irradiation food has been initiated at the laboratory since the beginning of 2011 using Cobalt-60 gamma irradiation. The purpose of this research is to study the effect of ionizing radiation on food products particularly those of economic importance to Lebanon in order to improve the microbiological quality, increase food safety and reduce the economic loss resulting from food deterioration.
Ion Beam Analysis (IBA)

The laboratory is equipped with a NEC-55DH 1 .7 MV tandem pelletron accelerator. IBA is considered as nuclear analytical technique used in different aspects of applied research such as:
- Materials Science- Determination of elemental depth profiles, thickness and stoichiometry of thin layer or multi-layer.
- Art and Archaeology– To determine the provenance and authenticity of objects in art and archeology such as ceramics, coins, statuettes and paintings. - Environment – Determination of toxic, pollutant, harmful or nutrient elements in samples such as food, aerosol, soil, sediment, paint.
- Pharmaceutical Sciences - Quantification of heteroatom containing active ingredients in commercial solid drugs. More than 1000 samples per year were analyzed and studied. Ninety scientists from the region were trained on IBA techniques.

Contact Us: contactlaec@cnrs.edu.lb