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  • Author or Editor: J. Fail x
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Abstract  

Following the accident at the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, in the Soviet Union on April 26, 1986, we performed a variety of measurements to determine the level of the radioactive fallout on the western United States. We used gamma-spectroscopy to analyze air filters from the areas around Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), California, and Barrow and Fairbanks, Alaska. Milk from California and imported vegetables were also analyzed. The levels of the various fission products detected were far below the maximum permissable concentration levels.

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Abstract  

Helium-3 (3He) mass spectrometry for the analysis of low-level tritium (3H) concentrations (0.5 to 5 Bq·l–1) in environmental sample matrices was compared with conventional low-level -decay counting methods. The mass-spectrometry method compared favorably, equalling or surpassing conventional decay-counting methods with respect to most criteria. Additional research and method refinements may make3He mass spectrometry the method of choice for routine, low-level to very-low-level (L<0.5 Bq·l–1)3H measurements in a wide variety of environmental samples in the future.

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