TRIC2012 – 9th IAEA International Tritium Intercomparison

The Isotope Hydrology Laboratory of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announces the 9th international tritium intercomparison (TRIC2012) for the global performance assessment of tritium (3H) assays made on water at environmental concentration levels, using both conventional decay counting and newer mass-spectrometry-3He accumulation methods.

Participating Laboratory Registration

Laboratories worldwide having analytical capability for low-level 3H measurements, and reporting measurement uncertainties of ±2.5 tritium units (i.e., ±0.30 Bq/kg) or better, are invited to take part in TRIC2012. Laboratories with both decay based and mass-spectrometry measurement capability should request a double set of test samples upon registration:

The registration deadline for participation is January 11, 2013. To register, please complete your contact and sample shipping information in the registration form below.

Download the IAEA TRIC2012 Registration Form, complete and email it to

Intercomparison Test Samples

All 3H test waters will be shipped cost-free to the participating laboratory by the IAEA. These test samples include:

Six low-level samples (500ml) between 0-15 TU (i.e., <1.8Bq/kg)
Optionally, a high-level sample (25 ml) for direct counting without enrichment (<700TU)

The optional high-level sample aims to confirm the accuracy of the participant's primary calibration standard, and to assess higher-level 3H analysis for decay counting laboratories. Participants wishing high activity sample (e.g., mass spectrometry labs utilizing the 3He accumulation method) can opt in at registration. The low level intercomparison 3H samples were prepared gravimetrically by adding tritiated water (NIST 4361C Standard) to a large stock of "tritium-free" groundwater obtained from an artesian well in south-eastern Austria. The high activity sample is composed of distilled water.

Laboratory Reporting Deadline

All laboratories must report their sample measurements in tritium units (TU), including the assigned standard uncertainty at the 1-sigma level, by May 31, 2013. In addition, the laboratories will provide basic details of the equipment used, the analytical procedures including all sample treatment, calibration methods, and the tritium standards used. Additional comment information relevant to each laboratory's standard practice is appreciated to better enable appropriate systematic analysis and comparisons among participating laboratories. All participating laboratories will be assigned an anonymous lab code to be used in reporting outcomes.

Download the Reporting Form, and email the results to

TRIC2012 Outcomes

The IAEA will provide each participant laboratory with an individualized performance report, along with a comparison of their results to all other laboratories (anonymously) worldwide. A final synthesis report will be provided to each participant, as well be available on the IAEA website. A short TRIC2012 synthesis report may be published in a journal, as appropriate.

QA/QC Test Samples

The IAEA prepared a large number of "extra" TRIC intercomparison sample sets, which will be available to laboratories following publication of TRIC2012. These additional sample sets may be used in the future as internal QA/QC samples. Shipping costs for these QA/QC samples must be borne by the recipient.

For Further Information

If you have any further questions regarding TRIC2012, please direct them to the TRIC Team at

We look forward to your participation!

With regards,
Darren Hillegonds & Leonard Wassenaar

Responsible/Contact: Isotope Hydrology Section | Last update: 15 March 2013