International inter-comparison exercise on \({}^{153}\hbox {Sm}\)


Samarium-153 (\({}^{153}\hbox {Sm}\)) is a short-lived radionuclide that decays to stable europium-153 via beta emission, with subsequent de-excitation via gamma emission and internal conversion. Historical measurements of \({}^{153}\hbox {Sm}\) by gamma spectrometry and beta liquid scintillation counting have shown a low bias compared to beta proportional counting. In order to investigate this, four national laboratories jointly conducted an experimental inter-comparison exercise on a certified \({}^{153}\hbox {Sm}\) sample, created from neutron activation of samarium-152. Radiometric measurements were conducted using gamma spectrometry, liquid scintillation counting, gas proportional counting, and passivated implanted planar silicon detectors and compared across the four institutions against the certified value. The results from this experiment are presented together with a number of conclusions which suggest that the current published cumulative fission yield for \({}^{153}\hbox {Sm}\), as used by many laboratories, is approximately 15% high and is the likely cause of the previously observed bias.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Change history

  • 11 December 2019

    In the original publication of the article, eighteenth author���s name was misspelt. The correct name is given in this correction.

  • 11 December 2019

    In the original publication of the article, eighteenth author���s name was misspelt. The correct name is given in this correction.


  1. 1.

    US National Nuclear Data Center (2018) NuDat 2.7, database reference 3-Jan-2018

  2. 2.

    England TR, Rider BF (1994) Evaluation and compilation of fission product yields 1993

  3. 3.

    Friese J (2009) Half-life and gamma abundance ratio measurements of \(^{153}{\text{Sm}}\). J Radioanal Nucl Chem 282:369–372

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Dziel T (2013) Standardization of Sm-153 solution by absolute methods. J Appl Radiat Isot 87:19–23

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Coursey BM (1987) The standardization of samarium-153. J Appl Radiat Isot 37:31–34

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Lépy M (2006) Determination of the intensity of X- and gamma-ray emissions in the decay of \(^{153}{\text{Sm}}\). J Appl Radiat Isot 64:1428–1434

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Bowles NE (1998) Standardization of \(^{153}{\text{Sm}}\). J Appl Radiat Isot 49:1345–1347

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Woods MJ (1998) NPL secondary standard radionuclide calibrator: new calibration figures for \(^{106}{\text{Ru}}\), \(^{153}{\text{Sm}}\) and \(^{188}{\text{Re}}\). J Appl Radiat Isot 49:1191–1193

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Schötzig U (1998) Standardization and decay data of \(^{153}{\text{Sm}}\). J Appl Radiat Isot 51:169–175

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Selby H (2010) Fission product data measured at los alamos for fission spectrum and thermal neutrons on \(^{239}{\text{Pu}}\), \(^{235}{\text{U}}\), \(^{238}{\text{U}}\). Nucl Data Sheets 111:2891–2922

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Mac Innes M (2011) Fission product yields for 14 MeV neutrons on \(^{235}{\text{U}}\), \(^{238}{\text{U}}\) and \(^{239}{\text{Pu}}\). Nucl Data Sheets 112:3135–3152

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Keksis AL, et al (2011) Los Alamos National Laboratory Fission Basis. LA-UR-11-02798

  13. 13.

    Baisden P, et al (2010) Measurement/evaluation techniques and nuclear data associated with fission of \(^{239}{\text{Pu}}\) by fission spectrum neutrons, Technical report LLNL-TR-426165, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

  14. 14.

    Ratel G, Michotte C (2004) BIPM comparison BIPM.RI(II)-K1.Sm-153 of activity measurements of the radionuclide \(^{153}{\text{Sm}}\). Metrologia 41:6–12

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Nakashima N, Duran E (2018) Proficiency test exercises for particulate systems at CTBT radionuclide laboratories. J Appl Radiat Isot 134:35–39

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc, N. Billerica, Quadramet [Package Insert] (2014)

  17. 17.

    United Kingdom National Physical Laboratory, Certificate of calibration SM-153 A170650 to A170653 (2017)

  18. 18.

    Chadwick M (2011) ENDF/B-VII.1: Nuclear data for science and technology: cross sections, covariances, fission product yields and decay data. Nucl Data Sheets 112:2887

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    OECD/NEA Data Bank (2009) The JEFF3.1/-3.1.1 radioactive decay data and fission yields sub-libraries, JEFF Report 20

  20. 20.

    Chadwick M (2006) ENDF/B-VII.0: next generation evaluated nuclear data library for nuclear science and technology. Nucl Data Sheets 107:2931

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    CSEWG-Collaboration (2001) Evaluated nuclear data file ENDF/B-VI.8

  22. 22.

    Shibata K (2011) JENDL-4.0: a new library for nuclear science and engineering. J Nucl Sci Technol 48:1

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Katakura J (2012) ENDL FP decay data file 2011 and fission yields data file 2011, JAEA-data/code, vol 025

  24. 24.

    Rochman D, Koning A (2012) TENDL-2011: TALYS-based Evaluated Nuclear Data Library, vol 3

  25. 25.

    OECD/NEA Data Bank (2000) The JEF-2.2 Nuclear Data Library, JEFF report 17

  26. 26.

    OECD/NEA Data Bank (2009) The JEFF-3.1.1 Nuclear Data Library, JEFF report 22

  27. 27.

    OECD/NEA Data Bank (2006) The JEFF-3.1 Nuclear Data Library, JEFF report 21

Download references


The authors would like to thank NPL for sourcing, certifying and distributing the \({}^{153}\hbox {Sm}\) solution measured by the participants of this inter-comparison exercise.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. J. Jackson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jackson, M.J., Gilligan, C., Davies, A.V. et al. International inter-comparison exercise on \({}^{153}\hbox {Sm}\). J Radioanal Nucl Chem 318, 107–115 (2018).

Download citation


  • Samarium-153
  • Inter-comparison
  • Fission product yield
  • Gamma spectrometry
  • Liquid scintillation counting
  • Gas proportional counting