NBL was established by the Atomic Energy Commission
in 1949 in New Brunswick, NJ. It was initially
staffed by scientists from the National Bureau
of Standards that had contributed to the measurement
science of nuclear materials for the Manhattan
Project. NBL's initial mission was to provide
a Federal capability for the assay of uranium-containing
materials for the nation's developing atomic
energy program. Over the years NBL expanded
its capabilities, developing newer and improved
methods and procedures, and certifying additional
reference materials for use around the world.
The capability for plutonium measurements was
implemented at NBL in 1959. NBL was relocated
from New Jersey to the site at Argonne National
Laboratory during the period 1975-77.
Since its beginning, NBL has maintained a Center
of Excellence in the analytical chemistry and
measurement science of nuclear materials. In
this role, NBL continues to perform state-of-the-art
measurements of the elemental and isotopic compositions
for a wide range of nuclear materials.