Lancaster Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (LAMS-UK)

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PI: Prof Malcolm Joyce
Mission: 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.

IonPlus manufactured Accelerator Mass Spectrometer. Pictured is the Multi-Isotope Low Energy AMS (MILEA) to be used at the Lancaster University based facility

© IonPlus

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.
  • Etc.

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.


Graph indicating possible differences that may be observed between very similar sample sites when considering isotopic ratios

A data example from a paper soon to be submitted for review regarding the possible differences that may be observed between very similar sample sites when considering isotopic ratios. For context, the first 10 samples were collected from the same trench excavation. All errors are 1-sigma.

© Lancaster University



For any further information or to discuss the facility capabilities, please contact Patrick Collins-Price via email at



LAMS-UK is available for access by external users. Please do reach out to, to start discussing access, at any point.



© Lancaster University