Project Details Compilation of k0 and related data for NAA in the form of electronic database

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 January 2002
End Date: 
25 October 2004


The k0-standardization of neutron activation analysis (k0-NAA), launched in the mid 1970s at the INW, Gent and KFKI, Budapest, has nowadays a fully operational and competitive analytical tool. Its principles and/or its associated techniques for detector calibration and neutron spectrum monitoring and/or its nuclear data library are implemented in some 50 laboratories worldwide. K0-NAA [its fundamental and its related topics (nuclear data; calibration of the irradiation facility and of the Ge-detector; software; installation and application in k0-NAA labs; etc.)] was the subject of two International k0 Users Workshops (Gent, 1992; Ljubljana, 1996); this will be followed in 2000 by the third one organized jointly by the IRMM/EU, Geel and the SCK-CEN, Mol.

The core of k0-NAA is its dedicated nuclear data library, in which the central parameters are the k–factors (for the analytically useful radionuclides and gamma-energies: recommended values with better than 2% uncertainty), but which also contains such evaluated quantitites as Q0 (=I/s, e.g., resonance integral to 2200 ms-1 cross section ratio), Er (effective resonance energy), decay scheme data (branching ratios, internal conversion factors, etc.) for true coincidence correction of cascading gamma-rays, not forgetting to mention such basic nuclear data as half-lives, gamma-ray energies and occasionally some additional parameters in case of complex activation/decay. The above k0-NAA library contains experimentally measured k0-factors, and Q0-values can, by introducing values for molar masses, isotopic abundances and absolute gamma-ray intensities (emission probabilities) retrieved from up-to-date compilations [IUPAC; ENSDF], be converted to a consistent and traceable data set of (n,g) activation cross-sections (s) and resonance integrals (I). Although in the past such tabulations were published in journals (JRNC, 1989) and presented at meetings (Mito, Japan, 1988; Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1996), it is without any doubt that an updated and electronically accessible database, issued via an authoritative body such as IUPAC, would be a highly valuable tool for neutron activation analysts–not only for those applying k0-NAA, but in general when a need exists to have at one’s disposal a NAA-dedicated data library containing a consistent set of relevant activation and decay data.


The goal of the project was to make a compilation of recommended k0 and related nuclear data in the form of an electronic database (MS Access database management system). The selection of a database of MS Access type is explained by its wide distribution as a component of MS Office and the possibility to use internal programming for data handling (viewing forms, exporting, multiple SQL queries, etc.). Advantages of using MS Access are its extended capabilities for exporting data in various formats, its support of SQL queries for extraction of the needed data for those who use Excel as a media for computations or use stand-alone special programs written in higher level programming languages. Additionally, such a solution permits easy migration to the MS SQL server, which may be interesting for those who use distributed computations (including those accessible via the Internet). The architecture of the database supports traceability of future data updating or appending, which implies easy recomputation of analytical data using any set of data, either the latest or previous ones.

The database is available in different forms: files IUPAC_k0NAA_v.4_Access97p.mdb (for Access97) or
IUPAC_k0NAA_v.4_Access2000p.mdb (for Access2000).
> Download zip version – for Access97 (ZIPfile – 7MB) or for Access2000 (ZIPfile – 4MB)

Project completed – IUPAC Technical Report published in Pure Appl. Chem. 76(10), 1921-1925, 2004;