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  • 1 University of Illinois, 214 Nuclear Engineering Laboratory Department of Nuclear Engineering 103 South Goodwin Avenue 61801 Urbana Illinois USA
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Aerosol samples were collected on Whatman 41 filters at two sites near Lake Huron and one site near Lake Ontario. These samples were then analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (NAA) at the University of Illinois. The detection limits for certain trace elements were enhanced by irradiation with both thermal and epithermal neutrons and also by counting with Compton suppression techniques. The sample was divided in half to allow for four irradiations. Short-lived thermal NAA resulted in the determination of Al, Br, Ca, Cl, Cu, K, Mn, Na, Ti, and V. A short epithermal irradiation was used to determine Cu, I, In, Si, Sn and U. A one and one-half hour epithermal irradiation was utilized for the determination of As, Au, Br, Sm, Sb, and W. The elements Cr, Cs, Fe, Hf, Ni, Sc, Se, Th. Zn, and several rare earths were determined with a long thermal irradiation. Utilizing a Compton suppression gamma-ray counting system reduced the background and enhanced the detection of several isotopes which primarily emit only a single gamma-ray upon decay. Counting was simultaneously performed with a normal counting mode so that the detection of isotopes with multiple decay gamma-rays was not impaired.