2001:24 Evaluation of the laboratory resources of the Swedish Radiation Protection Institute. The balance between internal and external laboratory capacity

The Swedish Radiation Protection Institute (SSI) has by directive of September 4, 2000 from the Director-General initiated an evaluation of SSI’s future needs for laboratory resources regarding measurements of radiation and radioactivity. The present document is the final report by the external independent evaluation panel, as presented at SSI, 23 August 2001. The evaluation panel has made assessments of SSI’s obligations concerning laboratory related tasks according to the Swedish legislation, international commitments, and SSI’s vision. The assessments also comprise SSI’s present laboratory resources and SSI’s system of external contract laboratories. Finally, aspects of outsourcing of laboratory resources from SSI are discussed. The evaluation panel finds that SSI’s high international level of competence has a basis in research and innovative skills in radiation protection where results from SSI’s own laboratory work and measurements has played a fundamental role. The panel recommends SSI to retain, and in some areas strengthen, key laboratory activities. The panel finds that the system of contract laboratories are well established with a high level of expertise and with adequate equipment. These laboratories play an important role in the Swedish emergency preparedness system. The panel recommends to introduce small scale emergency exercises for the contract laboratories without previous warning. It is also recommended to concentrate the efforts on fewer and larger contract laboratories in order to strengthen the continuity.