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KJM9912 – Radiochemistry

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

This course provides a thorough introduction to nuclear chemistry and radiochemistry. The course is based on fundamental knowledge about radioactivity (equal to what you learn from for example the course KJM3900 – Radioactivity) and basic knowledge about chemistry. Based on this you learn how to use radioactivity as a tool for chemically related research and related fields (for example material science, biochemistry, and medicine). The course teaches you fundamental radiochemical methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis of radionuclides in various media. Furthermore, you learn how radionuclides can be used as a tracer for following processes and reactions. The principles for detection of radioactive radiation and material will be thoroughly covered, including counting statistics and uncertainty in such measurements.

Learning outcome

Good knowledge of the chemical properties and nuclear characteristics of the most important radionuclides:

  • naturally occurring radionuclides (e.g. U, Th, Ra, Po, Pb)
  • fission products (e.g Cs, Sr, Tc, I, etc.)
  • tritium and radiocarbon
  • activation products (e.g. Ni, Fe, Co, Mn)
  • transurans (e.g. Np, Pu, Am, Cm)  

How such radionuclides can be identified (based on their radioactive emissions) and determined analytically. In particular, the following methods will be learned:

  • liquid Scintillation Counting for determining alpha and beta radiation
  • using gas-filled detectors (Geiger-Müller detectors, etc.)
  • gamma detection with NaI detectors
  • isotope dilution analysis
  • Szilard-Chalmers method for producing carrier-free radioactivity
  • neutron activation analysis

Special characteristics of the chemistry and separations of radionuclides (trace concentrations, radiation, use of carriers, adsorption of radionuclides, hot-atom chemistry).

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Maximum 12 students due to Laboratory capacity. If more than 12 students apply they will be accepted in the following order:

  1. Phd.-students at the MN-faculty
  2. Master students with the course in their approved study plan
  3. Master students at the MN faculty
  4. Others

Formal prerequisite knowledge

The safety when working with radioactive material is very strict. For this reason, it is demanded that the course KJM5903 – Radiation Protection is taken before KJM5912 – Radiochemistry, since the laboratory exercises include such work. These two courses are organized so that they are taken consecutively in the same semester.

It is possible to take KJM3900 – Radioactivity in parallel to KJM5903 – Radiation Protection and KJM5912 – Radiochemistry, but it's recommended taking KJM3900 – Radioactivity in advance.

Overlapping courses


​The teaching consists of:

  • Lectures (26 - 30 hours)
  • 6 days of laboratory exercises (with mandatory reports) 

The course has 60% hands-on exercises and laboratory work in radiochemical laboratories (type C) and 40% lectures.

It is mandatory to attend the first lecture (including students on the waiting list). If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must notify the Department of Chemistry before the start of the lecture, otherwise, your course registration will be canceled.

The mandatory laboratory exercises with reports must be approved before you can sit the final exam. Approved mandatory assignments are valid for six semesters after the semester they first were approved.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


  • Final oral exam which counts 100% towards the finale grade.

The mandatory exercises and reports must be approved before you can sit the final exam.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: KJM5912 – Radiochemistry, KJM5922 – Radiochemical Measurement Techniques, KJM9922 – Radiochemical Measurement Techniques 

Examination support material

Table of nuclides

Grading scale

Emnet bruker karakterskala bestått/ikke bestått. Les mer om karakterskalaen.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Oct. 25, 2020 2:16:54 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)