A fully instrumental method for the neutron activation analysis of heavy metals in sewage sludges has been developed, based
on short-lived isotopes, and restricting the total experiment time to 1 hour per sample. The irradiation scheme consists of
a cyclic and conventional part, the period of the cyclic irradiation being optimised for the determination of lead, using207mPb (T=0.8 s). Gamma ray spectra from Ge(Li) detectors are stored on magnetic tape and analysed using the SAMPO programme.
An IDENTIFY subroutine enables absolute determinations to be made eliminating the need for standards. Sensitivities and detection
limits for 21 heavy metals have been determined and the results for several sludges are presented.