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Summary  

A set of 15 atmospheric aerosol samples was collected in an industrial area of Lisbon, Portugal and then analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Both fine and coarse aerosol samples were collected during November and December 2001 on polycarbonate filters with Gent samplers. The INAA methodology utilized both thermal and epithermal neutron irradiations. Compton suppressed and normal gamma-ray spectra were acquired simultaneously for each measurement and the elemental concentrations of 30 elements were determined. Enrichment factors, wind speed comparison and receptor modeling techniques were applied to obtain the different source contributions of the aerosols. Crustal, marine and anthropogenic sources were identified. The anthropogenic elements have origin mainly in the area close to the sampling site (<5 km), with the exception of Ca and V. A direct relationship was observed between the anthropogenic atmospheric aerosol concentrations and wind speed.

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Summary  

In the past few years there has been renewed worldwide interest in the re-establishment of various nuclear and radiochemistry disciplines in the hope of training the next generation of skilled researchers in this area. In the United States there continues to be an acute shortage of MSc and PhD level trained students, particularly at the Department of Energy national laboratories. As a result of this critical need the Department of Energy established a Radiochemistry Education Award Program (REAP) in the late 1990's to address this issue. Several universities were awarded funding to establish various complimentary programs. One of the main goals of the REAP at the University of Texas was to establish a web-based graduate level course with associated labs and to have interactions with the national laboratories.

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Abstract  

In 2003–2004, several food items were purchased from large commercial outlets in Coimbra, Portugal. Such items included meats (chicken, pork, beef), eggs, rice, beans and vegetables (tomato, carrot, potato, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce). Elemental analysis was carried out through INAA at the Technological and Nuclear Institute (ITN, Portugal), the Nuclear Energy Centre for Agriculture (CENA, Brazil), and the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab of the University of Texas at Austin (NETL, USA). At the latter two, INAA was also associated to Compton suppression. It can be concluded that by applying Compton suppression (1) the detection limits for arsenic, copper and potassium improved; (2) the counting-statistics error for molybdenum diminished; and (3) the long-lived zinc had its 1115-keV photopeak better defined. In general, the improvement sought by introducing Compton suppression in foodstuff analysis was not significant. Lettuce, cabbage and chicken (liver, stomach, heart) are the richest diets in terms of human nutrients.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: S. Landsberger, A. Plionis, S. Biegalski, K. Foltz-Biegalski, E. Schneider, D. O’Kelly, J. Braisted, S. O’Kelly, and L. Welch

Abstract  

Over the last three years we have developed a very robust nuclear and radiochemistry program at The University of Texas at Austin. The cornerstone of support was the DOE Radiochemistry Educational Award Program (REAP) that was awarded from 2002–2005. A second award for the period of 2005–2008 was just received. This award has enabled us to support many educational activities from vanguard classroom instruction, to laboratory enhancements, to research activities at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Both traditional radiochemistry and advanced topics in nuclear instrumentation have been supported. Various DOE university programs, national lab funding and IAEA fellowship grants, have allowed the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program at the University of Texas to be at the forefront of nuclear and radiochemistry educational and research activities and help secure the next generation of needed expertise.

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