NIST Unveils New Laboratory Constructing for Improved Nationwide Radiation Measurements


On Sept. 23, 2019, NIST celebrated the addition of a brand new wing on its Radiation Physics Constructing, which is able to add 38 new lab areas designed to enhance measurements. From left to proper: Skip Vaughn; Jim Olthoff; Sen. Chris Van Hollen; Walter G. Copan; Sen. Ben Cardin; Deputy Secretary for Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley.


Credit score:

J. Stoughton/NIST

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The U.S. Division of Commerce’s Nationwide Institute of Requirements and Know-how (NIST) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday to unveil a brand new laboratory constructing that considerably enhances NIST’s capabilities for radiation measurements essential to the well being care, meals processing, nationwide safety and different industries. 

“Each sort of well being care within the U.S. that is determined by radiation depends on the measurements finished on the NIST Radiation Physics Constructing,” stated Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley. “Which is why it’s so essential that this addition is now full and prepared to be used.”

“With completion of the H Wing, we’re witnessing the start of a brand new period at NIST for radiation measurements,” stated Below Secretary of Commerce for Requirements and Know-how and NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “That is the type of facility that America deserves. I do know it is going to serve us effectively for the subsequent 60 years and past.”

An extension to NIST’s present Radiation Physics Constructing, the brand new H Wing will add 38 laboratory modules and roughly 7,900 sq. meters (85,000 sq. toes) of state-of-the-art area to the constructing. The brand new facility will enable: 

  • improved accuracy of calibrations wanted for X-ray, gamma ray and different radiation detectors; 
  • the creation of requirements to confirm doses absorbed by tissues from radionuclide medical remedies; 
  • enhanced nationwide safety by means of higher detection of nuclear and radiological supplies; and 
  • an expanded vary of radioactive fuel requirements wanted for environmental, medical, nationwide safety and different functions, amongst different advantages.


A large tan building with blue sky in the background.

The brand new H Wing addition to NIST’s Radiation Physics Constructing will add 38 new labs with dramatically higher controls for temperature, humidity and air filtration.

Credit score:

J. Stoughton/NIST

NIST’s measurements allow 17 million nuclear drugs procedures, 40 million mammograms and 80 million CT scans within the U.S. every year. In addition they assist to make sure the security of milk and greens by supporting the irradiation (for pasteurization and canning) of 120,000 tons of foodstuffs every year.  

Constructed at a price of $82.4 million, the H Wing is a part of a multiphase modernization effort anticipated to price a complete of $327 million. All instructed, the trouble will add practically 10,000 sq. meters (107,000 sq. toes) of area to the unique constructing and produce the older sections as much as fashionable codes and efficiency requirements. The brand new addition will dramatically enhance management of temperature, humidity and air filtration to ranges wanted for precision measurements.  

Study extra concerning the Radiation Physics Constructing, the individuals who have labored in it and the historical past of groundbreaking analysis.

NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, requirements and expertise in ways in which improve financial safety and enhance our high quality of life. NIST is a nonregulatory company of the U.S. Division of Commerce. To be taught extra about NIST, go to

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