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Summary  

The prompt k 0,H factors for B, N, Si, P, S and Cl were determined relative to the 2223.25 keV gamma-line from the 1H(n,γ) reaction. The measurements were performed at the SNU-KAERI Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis facility, of which the background was greatly reduced recently by upgrading the detection system to a Compton suppressed g-ray spectrometer with a BGO/NaI(Tl) guard detector and by improving the shield geometry. From the measured prompt k 0,H factors, the partial γ-ray production cross sections were determined using the latest cross section for H. The measured prompt k 0,H factors were tabulated and compared with the other reported data.

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Abstract  

The CITATION code based on neutron diffusion theory is used for flux calculation inside voluminous sample in prompt gamma activation analysis with an isotopic neutron source (241Am-Be). The code used the specific parameters related to energy spectrum source, irradiation system materials (shielding, reflector, etc.), geometry and elemental composition of the sample. The flux distribution (thermal and fast) was calculated on three-dimensional geometry for the system: source, air, and polyethylene and water cylindrical sample of 125 liters. The thermal flux was calculated in series of points inside the sample, and agreed with the results obtained by measurements with good statistical uncertainty. The maximum thermal flux was measured at distance of 4.1 cm and calculated at 4.3 cm by the CITATION code. Beyond a depth of 7.2 cm, the ratio of thermal flux to fast flux increases up to twice and allows us the optimization of the detection system in the scope of in-situ PGNAA.

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Abstract  

Graduate students in the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin have designed and modeled a fast neutron prompt-gamma activation analysis facility as part of a new course introduced in the graduate program titled “The Design of Nuclear Systems.” The students were responsible for creating a design concept as well as implementing and modeling the concept to ensure its safety and functionality. The purpose of the class was to give graduate students the independence to create a project of their own vision, but to do so in a collaborative and formal manner as will be necessary in their future work. The fast neutron PGAA facility was successfully designed and computational models have been analyzed to display benefits of the fast neutron facility compared to the thermal neutron PGAA facility that also exists at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Abstract  

In short time activation analysis prompt gamma-activation analysis and in high rate -ray spectroscopy in general, the shape parameters for peaks and back ground usually vary, rendering spectrum evaluation codes based on a fixed shape calibration unsuitable. An interactive version of the well-known, fully automatic -ray spectrum analysis code HYPERMET has been developed in C ++ for the IBM-PC. It runs under MS-DOS, in conventional memory, and can handle up to 16k-channel spectra, recorded with CANBERRA's System 100 and AccuSpec and with ORTEC's ACE plug-in MCA cards. A Windows-like graphics environment is provided with mouse controlled pull-down menus, pop-up windows and rubber band expansion. All basic features of HYPERMET such as fully automatic peak search, nonlinear fitting of multiplets with automatically adjusted Gaussian peak widths exponential tails and a complex background function have been retained. All details of the fitting procedure are recorded in a data base, hence any fitted region can be retrieved and modified interactively, even after a fully automatic spectrum evaluation. The program also provides an output peak list in SAMPO90 format for further processing. The latter format is widely used in a number of sample analysis programs such as KAYZERO a software package fork 0 standardization in neutron activation analysis.

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Abstract  

Analyses for certification have been made for the determination of 30 elements in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Tomato Leaves renewal reference material, SRM 1573a. Three of the analytical techniques used were instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA), and prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA). These techniques provided data on 19 elements by INAA, 10 elements by PGAA, and 7 elements by RNAA, with some overlap between techniques. For example, INAA was able to obtain overall analytical uncerainties (at the 95% confidence level) averaging ±2.2% for major and minor constituents (Ca, Mg, K), ±3.3% for constituents from 1 to 1000 g/g (Na, Fe, Al, Mn, Ba, Zn, Rb, La, Cr), and ±6.4% for elements between 10 and 1000 ng/g (Co, V, Se, Th, Sc, Sb), using sample dry weights of approximately 150 mg. These analyses represent the most extensive use to date of nuclear analytical techniques in the certification of a trace element SRM at NIST.

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Abstract  

A novel approach is implemented to alleviate some persistent problems in neutron capture prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA). Detection sensitivities of PGAA are often restricted by the following factors: poor signal to noise ratios, interferences from background signals, and, in some cases, overlapping energy lines from different origins, namely ultra short-lived decay lines interfering with prompt decay. Timing the gamma-ray acquisition with the actual capture events using a pulsed beam of cold neutrons allows discrimination between prompt and delayed emissions from a sample source as well as against background events. Coincidence gating selects the prompt gamma-ray emissions. Contributions of background capture gamma-rays are suppressed because of different flight times of neutrons to the sources of background radiation, providing a reduction in direct gamma-ray interferences. Anti-coincidence gating allows measurement of only decay radiation that originates from short-lived activated states of the nuclides after capture. Spectra of decaying nuclides are free of interfering prompt activities, as well as have lower continuum background from Compton scattering of high-energy prompt gamma-rays in the detector. The measurements provide the opportunity to use ultra-short half-life nuclides for analytical purposes, no sample transfer times are lost, and repetitive activation and counting cycles are achieved with the use of pulsed neutron beams.

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Abstract  

Prompt k 0-factors relative to chlorine and relative g-emission intensities were determined for the strong non-1/v absorbers 113Cd, 149Sm, 151Eu,155Gd and 157Gd. Measurements were performed using the SNU-KAERI prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) facility at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). For proper experimental determination of the prompt k 0-factors, the effective g-factor and cadmium ratio were taken into account, in consideration of the effects from the non-1/v capture cross section and neutron spectrum in the thermal and epithermal energy region. By using the actual spectrum of the neutron beam in this study, the effective g-factor was obtained by calculation, and the influence of epithermal neutrons on the capture rate was corrected by measuring the cadmium ratio for each non-1/v target isotope. The measured prompt k 0-factors were used to check the consistency between the existing dataset of the absolute g-emission intensity and the 2200 m/s capture cross section for these isotopes.

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Abstract  

This work describes a nuclear facility forin vivo prompt gamma activation analysis (IVPGAA) using a moderated neutron beam from a 0.1 W Tsing-Hua Mobile Educational Reactor (THMER). The IVPGAA measurement is a new technique for toxic cadmium determination in organs, which can efficiently be used in clinical diagnosis. The low-power nuclear reactor provides a total neutron flux of 3.3·104 n·cm–2·s–1 on the surface of the central vertical neutron beam tube to which a liquid phantom is positioned. The capability of such partial-body irradiation facility is demonstrated. The detection limit of cadmium in the left kidney for a skin dose equivalent of 1.66 mSv (166 mrem) was 1.34 mg in a 500-s irradiation/counting period, and the sensitivity in the left kidney was 103 counts mg–1·mSv–1. The performance of IVPGAA system using the THMER nuclear facility therefore has the advantages of mobility and feasibility with high sensitivity under low neutron and gamma doses.

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Abstract  

The possibilities of using a computer to optimize the conditions of gamma-activation analysis are considered. Criteria of optimum conditions are formulated. The optimization program is constructed of the following operations being automatically performed: (1) determination of a list of isotopes and their gamma-lines formed during the interaction between the activating bremsstrahlung and the substance whose elemental composition elements to be analyzed plus matrix is preliminarily given; (2) optimization of the analysis time regimes and the value of the maximum energy of the activating bremsstrahlung; (3) choice of a gamma-line of the isotope of an element to be analyzed by which the quantitative determination of this element is expedient. For these purposes a catalogue of nuclear-physical constants (half-lives and energies which was compiled from published data tables of gamma-line outputs obtained experimentally under standardized conditions for different values of the maximum energy of the bremsstrahlung as well as mathematical models of the monoenergetic gamma-ray spectra) has been used.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: Bangfa Ni, Caijing Xiao, Donghui Huang, Hongchao Sun, Guiying Zhang, Cunxiong Liu, Pingsheng Wang, Haiqing Zhang, and Weizhi Tian

Abstract  

China Advance Research Reactor (CARR) at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), with a non-perturbed maximum thermal neutron flux of 1 × 1015 cm−2 s−1 at the center of active area, is one of the most powerful research reactors in the world. Three neutron channels have been allocated for conventional neutron activation analysis (NAA), thermal neutron prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) and cold neutron PGAA, respectively. Two irradiation tube systems are installed in the conventional NAA channel. One of them is for short irradiation with the rabbit size of diameter (Φ)19 × 40 mm, the other one is for long irradiation with the rabbit size of Φ39 × 70 mm. The medium temperature is about 45 °C and the thermal neutron flux is about 3 × 1014 cm−2 s−1 at sample positions. The flux gradient is expected to be very small according to the designed neutron flux distribution. Pneumatic systems are used for samples transfer. The speed of rabbits is designed to be about 20 m/s, and it takes 3 s to travel from irradiation position to detector. Three sets of gamma counting systems and one delayed neutron counting system are being equipped for routine analysis. They are designed for running continuously and automatically. And all the functions can be operated at laboratory or office through remote controlled computer. Software has been made domestically for spectrum peak search, concentration calculation with relative method and k0 method with interference corrections and some other functions for the convenience of users.

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