By working closely with Autoscribe on the upgrade of Matrix 4 to Matrix Gemini, staff at Cavendish Nuclear's environmental laboratory have become so proficient in using Gemini's one-time configuration tools that they manage and implement any updates and developments to their own system as their needs arise.
Cavendish Nuclear's environmental laboratory is an internationally recognised provider of specialist radiometric analysis for a wide range of environmental and personnel matrices, requiring low limit of detection techniques. Radioactive materials measured include tritium activation and fission products, radium, thorium, uranium and plutonium isotopes, daughter products and transuranic elements. Employing leading edge analytical techniques such as gamma spectrometry, alpha spectrometry, alpha scintillation, gas flow proportional counting and liquid scintillation counting in the UKAS accredited laboratory, Cavendish Nuclear produces analytical data to support quality, safety and environmental standards, regulatory compliance and research and testing programmes in the nuclear, civil and industrial sectors.
The laboratory carries out around 100,000 determinations for radio-isotopes and stable (non-radioactive) isotopes per year from some 40.000 environmental media samples ranging from soil, silts and sediments to rain, lake, tap, surface and river waters, to meat, fish and food crops as well as air sample filter papers and many more. Originally part of Sellafield before becoming independent, the laboratory was using a LIMS dating back to 1992. The challenges faced in implementing a new LIMS included:
- Accommodation of a wide variety of samples with widely varying test regimes in a commercial laboratory environment
- Maintaining the functionality of the original LIMS with which staff were familiar
- Providing flexibility to adapt to changing requirements
- Incorporating some instrumental results which had previously been recorded on spreadsheets
- Complying with Cavendish Nuclear's rigorous quality control and management system accredited to BS EN ISO/IEC 17025
Following the successful implementation of a new LIMS, a further challenge arose when the company updated its operating system to Windows 7, which required a further upgrade of the LIMS.
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