The photonuclear reactions used for this isotopic analysis are as follows:16O(γ, n)15O threshold energy 15.7 MeV;18O(γ, p)17N threshold energy 16.3 MeV.15O is a pure β+ emitter of half-life 2.03 minutes, whereas17N presents a 4.2 second neutron emission. The principle of the method is founded on the simultaneous measurement of the above
characteristic radioactivities, the intensities of which are proportional to the respective quantities of16O and18O present in the irradiated sample. The potentialities of this new oxygen isotope analysis method, based on the use of an
electron accelerator, are described. Detection limit of 0.1 μg18O is easily attainable. The equipment designed and built to industrialise this technique is described. It allows a hundred
samples to be analysed automatically, the accelerator, detection instruments and pneumatic transfer circuits being controlled
by a logic system linked to an electronic chronometer.