The 7th International k0-Users’ Workshop will be held in Montreal, Canada, September 3 to 8, 2017

History of the k0 method

In the early 1970s, András Simonits was working at the laboratory of Julien Hoste in Gent, Belgium. He proposed to Frans de Corte to standardize NAA using “universal k factors”, where the essential information for a gamma ray emitted by any nuclide produced by neutron activation would be contained in the k0 factor. They undertook to work together on an ambitious project to develop the k0 method.

Over the years the k0 method became popular because it had elaborate and complete models of the activation, decay and detection processes and thus enabled accurate and convenient NAA for a large number of elements without the need for the repeated preparation of standards. k0-NAA is more interesting to do than relative NAA because it encourages a complete understanding of all the processes involved. k0-NAA is now used in one form or another in over 50 NAA laboratories around the world.

Earlier meetings of the k0 community:
1st Workshop: Gent, Belgium (1992),
2nd Workshop: Ljubljana, Slovenia (1996)
3rd Workshop: Bruges, Belgium (2001)
4th Workshop: Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal (2005)
5th Workshop: Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2009)
6th Workshop: Budapest, Hungary (2013)

k0 NAA in Montreal

In 2017 the k0 Workshop arrives in Montreal where the k0 method has been used extensively since 1998 when a hybrid k0 method was implemented in the Montreal NAA lab. It merged the best features of the k0 method with the previously used local k factor method to take full advantage of the neutron flux reproducibility of the Montreal SLOWPOKE reactor and the stability of the gamma ray spectrometers.

In 2001, for the first time, the Montreal NAA lab could offer a fast turnaround NAA service for accurately analyzing any material of any combination of chemical elements. The NAA service flourished and the lab became partially auto financed, to reach full self-sustainability after 2010. Presently the lab continues k0 method tradition by performing k0 and Q0 factor measurements, and by innovating in areas such iterative correction of neutron self-shielding combined with gamma ray self-attenuation, NAA software and automation.

During the 2017 Workshop, a half day will be devoted to visiting the NAA lab and observing how the hybrid k0 method is used to analyze a wide variety of materials for university research projects and for Canadian and international industries and government agencies.