Lancaster Accelerator Mass Spectrometer

The Lancaster Accelerator Mass Spectrometer

Establishing a state-of-the-art, university-based facility for the quantification of trace actinide levels to support the decommissioning and development of nuclear fission sites around the UK. The aim is to increase understanding of the baseline concentration of actinides in various matrices, and this is expected to focus predominantly on soils during the initial phase.

AMS capabilities

  • Ability to analyse 55 different radionuclides at femtogram-picogram per gram concentrations, with plutonium and uranium as the facility’s primary foci.
  • Distinguish samples to a greater extent utilising isotopic ratio measurement.
  • Analyses are carried out with small sample masses (1-5g), easily allowing for multiple repeats.

Research applications

  • Environmental monitoring for nuclear installations
  • Fallout material monitoring in the environment
  • Ecological sample measurements of isotopes
  • Hydrology
  • Nuclear physics
  • Pollution
  • Age-dating
  • Materials analysis

LAMS-UK facilities

  • Sample spiking
  • Raw sample preparation
  • Strong acid digestion for variety of samples.
  • Dehydration of samples.
  • In-house AMS measurements.
  • Visitor workspace.
  • Dedicated enclosed facility for safe storage of sensitive sample materials.


Malcolm Joyce

Professor Malcolm Joyce

Distinguished Professor & Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder, Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)

Doctorate Centre in Nuclear Engineering, Energy Lancaster, Energy Lancaster Nuclear, Nuclear

Patrick Collins-Price

Patrick Collins-Price

Experimental Officer, PhD student