Image analysis techniques have been applied and shown to be a valuable tool in nuclear forensics analysis. The interlaboratory exercise reported here has tested quantitative and qualitative approaches for characterizing nuclear materials. Particle size, surface features and morphology descriptions were compared by four laboratories on a common image set generated by Scanning Electron Microscopy and Digital Light Microscopy. Quantitative analysis of the image sets through the Morphological Analysis for Materials software highlighted the strength of image analysis, but also that the application of the software alone can introduce significant bias in the analysis. Qualitative morphology descriptions following the process outlined by Tamasi et al. (J Radioanal Nuclear Chem 307:1611–1619, 2015) were compared with a discussion on the robustness and reproducibility of the results. Future work should continue to focus on proficiency and standardization of image analysis through continued exercises within the extended nuclear forensics community.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Digital light microscope; Image analysis; Morphological analysis of materials (MAMA); Nuclear forensics; Round robin; Scanning electron microscope

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1588-2780; 0236-5731

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2024 Akadémiai Kiadó; Springer, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2024