An epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA) procedure has been evaluated in which samples packed in polyethylene capsules are irradiated during 15 minutes only, and induced activities are counted using well-type Ge-spectrometry. The evaluation was carried out in order to improve on ease of operation in ENAA. Biological and sediment reference materials have been analyzed. Compared to routine INAA, an improvement in detection limits was observed for As, Au, Cd, Mo, Ni, Sb, Sm, Sr, Ta, U, W and Zn. By Au–Zr neutron flux monitors, epithermal flux gradients have been determined. Concentrations found in the reference materials were generally in agreement with certified and consensus values.