International Metrology

The role of the Italian National Institute of Ionizing Radiation Metrology (as that of any primary metrology institute) is essential to ensure that Italy can independently operate in all aspects pertaining to calibration certification (in its area of competence) and to guarantee the reliability of ionizing radiation measurements nationwide as well as internationally.

Without an adequate level of equivalence of the primary standards, there would be no equivalence in the certifications of products, processes and all services that are based on measurements. All Quality Systems that are based on measurements necessitate an internationally recognized certification of measurements linked to them. To this end, international organizations address, coordinate, and evaluate the activity of the National Metrology Institutes (NMI) of the single States with the aim of guaranteeing the equivalence of the the primary standards and a system of mutual traceability for measurements in different areas of interest. These organisms are the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM), the Comité International des Poids et Mesures (CIPM), the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures (CGPM), the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET e.V.), the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

To satisfy the need of equivalence of the primary standards of each country, the "Mutual Recognition of National Measurement Standards and of Calibration Certificates Issued by National Metrology Institutes" (MRA, in short) was signed in 1999 by 50 countries, including Italy. This agreement defines the constraints that each country should obey to in order to fulfill the mutual recognition of the validity of the national primary standards, as well as the calibration certificates that refer to them. The agreement aims at providing each Government a technical basis to reduce the barriers in international exchanges of all commercial and productive activities, health and environmental data, statistical data and all that can be deduced from a measurement procedure and that refers to the implementation of the Quality Systems in the production, services, and in the Public Administration. The MRA has been signed by the legal representatives of the metrology institutes. For Italy, these where ENEA-INMRI, the Istituto di Metrologia "Gustavo Colonnetti" (IMGC) and the Istituto Elettrotecnico Nazionale "Galileo Ferraris" (IEN), now merged into INRIM, recognized as national authorities. The MRA therefore mandates that each signatory Institute maintains the national metrology institues operative and fulfilling the quality standards set.

The metrological programs of ENEA-INMRI must comply with the MRA agreement and what indicated bi the international metrology organizations, together with what is mandated by the international standardization regulations (ISO norm 17025).