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International Conference 2011

Uranium, Mining and Hydrogeology VI

Workshops UMH I

Workshop 2: Quality Control (QC) versus Quality Assurance (QA)

Chair: Eberhard Falck

Approximately 20 scientists and engineers mostly from Germany took part in the discussion. At the beginning it was stated that the English word "quality control" can not be translated directly to the German language with "control of the analysis quality", since it is only restricted to the documentation of the methodology of e.g. an analysis. However no documentation regardless how good it is is assuring the quality of the analysis itself. The German word for "quality control" has to be tranlated to "quality assurance".

The question of standardizations and regulations regarding monitorings, sampling and analytics was discussed very much in detail. The predominant opinion was that DIN (German institute for standardizations) norms are often not sufficient standards. This is owed to the fact that the process of the introduction of DIN standards is very difficult and time-consuming. The observance of DIN standards can thus only be one minimum demand. On the other hand methods corresponding to the latest state of the art and standards on regional level (that can be set up and updated faster) lead to the fact that results from different federal countries within Germany are sometimes not comparable. Interlaboratory tests were judged as necessary. However they should include sampling, transport, storage and analytics and they must be executed without pre-warning. Interlaboratory tests of conventional type are thus not suitable to ensure a quality assurance according to the opinion of the majority of the participants.

Due to the complexity of the problems the opinion was expressed, that for the evaluation of circumstances more than one expert must be heard, in order to do justice to the variety of scientific opinions. It was criticized that in the field of radiochemistry hardly any experts are still available. In addition doubts were expressed about the relevance of the available geochemical data bases. Model calculations must be supported by model tests in the laboratory and in the field. According to the opinion of the majority of the participants each measured value must be indicated with its error range. By means of sensitivity analysis the influences of the individual steps (sampling, storage, analytics) are to be examined.

© A. Berger <umh@geo.tu-freiberg.de>, 17.05.2010, http://www.geo.tu-freiberg.de/umh/UMHI_Workshop2e.htm