AFTER months of searching for the perfect concrete and pre-World War II steel, ANSTO's new $8.7 million radioactivity measurement centre officially opened on Tuesday.
Federal Science and Research Minister Chris Evans helped ANSTO chief executive Adi Paterson cut the red ribbon and opened the centre, where scientists can accurately measure naturally occurring radiation.
Senator Evans said the new centre will help Australian scientists better understand the environment we live in.
"These readings will enhance scientists' understanding of the environment — everything from algal blooms to deforestation and the frequency of bushfires," Senator Evans said.
Dr Paterson said the centre would give ANSTO the tools to monitor the amount of radiation in the environment and undertake research which could support Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed an earthquake and tsunami.
The new centre needed to be built using specialised materials so that it had such low background radiation that equipment could detect tiny amounts of radiation which might otherwise be drowned out.
The centre also includes the only ITRAX core scanner in Australia, a piece of equipment used to measure the composition of sediment core samples taken by drilling.
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