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.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has many projects and activities supporting the utilization of nuclear research reactors for neutron activation analysis (NAA). Globally the number of operating nuclear research reactors has been in decline since about 1975. This contrasts with the situation in developing countries where the numbers show a modest increase over the same period. This paper reviews the current status of NAA as seen from the particular perspective of IAEA programs involving studies of biological and environmental specimens. Some of the areas in which NAA is maintaining its role as a competitive technique are briefly reviewed.
Authors:M. Ebihara, Y. Chung, H. Dung, J. Moon, B. Ni, T. Otoshi, Y. Oura, F. Santos, F. Sasajima, Sutisna, B. Wee, W. Wimolwattanapun, and A. Wood
Air particulate matter (APM) samples (PM2.5 and PM10–2.5) were collected at 13 sampling points in 8 Asian countries and their chemical compositions were determined by using neutron
activation analysis (NAA) with the k0-standardization method in addition to conventional comparative method of NAA. Analytical data showed that mass concentration
and elemental composition of the APM collected are variable in terms of time and space, and are related to the characteristics
of the sampling sites concerned. NAA was proved to be highly effective for the regional characterization of APM in chemical
A neutron spectrum-independent compound nuclear constant, Iko, is proposed for fission interference corrections in reactor NAA by parametric method. Ik0 values for eight major fission interference cases, belonging to three different types, have been determined in six irradiation positions (withth/e 13,7–134) of three research reactors in our Institute. The general agreement among experimental Ik0 's from different irradiation positions and between experimental and calculated Ik0 values for the same interference case verifies the validity of the method. Calculated Ik0 values for all the possible fission interferences are tabulated. Interferences from238U(n,) and232Th(n,) reactions and reactor fast neutron induced238U(n, f) and232Th(n, f) reactions are discussed.
Chemical composition is an important information of studying the provenance character of ancient pottery and porcelain. The
ancient celadon samples produced in Later Tang (850–907 A.D.) to Former Southern Song (1127–1279 A.D.) have been analyzed
with NAA. Its provenance characteristic was compared with that of Hongzhou Kiln of Jiangxi Province and Yaozhou Kiln of Shanxi
Province in this paper. The experimental data were studied with statistic methods. The results indicated that the chemical
compositions of ancient porcelain body samples made in three kilns were different. The difference is able to be identified.
The porcelain body materials of both Silongkou Yue Kiln and Hongzhou Kiln were similar. The samples of Yaozhou kiln in north
of China existed obvious difference.
Authors:W. Ding, Q. Qian, X. Hou, W. Feng, and Z. Chai
The content of chromium in the DNA, RNA and protein fractions separated from chromium-rich and normal brewer's yeast was determined by neutron activation analysis (NAA). Our results show that the extracted relative amounts and concentrations of DNA, RNA and proteins have no significant difference for two types of yeast, but the chromium content in DNA, RNA and proteins fractions extracted from the chromium-rich yeast are substantially higher than those from the normal. In addition, the concentration of chromium in DNA is much higher than that in RNA and proteins. It is evident that the inorganic chromium compounds can enter the yeast cell during the yeast cultivation in the chromium-containing culture medium and are converted into organic chromium species, which are combined with DNA, RNA and proteins.
A new universal radiochemical separation scheme for selective and quantitative isolation of molybdenum and neptunium (formed from uranium), from neutron irradiated biological materials has been elaborated. The procedure is based on ion exchange and extraction chromatography with final fixation of molybdenum on a column with -benzoinoxime supported on Bio-Beads SM2 and neptunium on Dowex 1-X8 [No
]. The separated elements are quantified using gamma-spectrometric measurements. The new NAA method is able to overcome problems associated with high contents of phosphorous in some samples and assures detection limits better than 3 ppb for both elements. The validity of the proposed scheme has been demonstrated by the analysis of several CRM's.
Authors:R. Zeisler, E. A. Mackey, G. P. Lamaze, T. E. Stover, R. Oflaz Spatz, and R. R. Greenberg
The determination of arsenic at natural levels in biological materials remains difficult. Many analytical techniques cannot
detect the low levels present in typical biological tissues and other techniques suffer from interferences. This paper reviews
uses of neutron activation analysis (NAA) at NIST to determine nanogram amounts of arsenic in biological reference materials
with radiochemical (RNAA) or instrumental (INAA) procedures. INAA is compromised by high activities from 24Na, 82Br, and 32P that may be formed during irradiation of biological tissues, and result in detection limits as high as 0.1 mg. Lower detection
limits have been achieved using state-of-the-art gamma-ray spectrometry systems in INAA and a variety of procedures in RNAA.
These techniques and procedures were applied recently at NIST to the determination of arsenic in urine, nutritional supplements,
and total diet samples.
The software ASPRO-NUC is based on new improved algorithms suggested and tested in the laboratory and intended for routine analysis. The package consists of the program ASPRO for gammaray spectra processing (peak search, multiplets deconvolution by means of method of moments, computation of correction coefficient for geometry and material of radioactive source), a program for isotope identification and a program for NAA by means of relative standardization. All output information is loaded into a data base (Paradox v.3.5 format) for supporting of queries, creation of reports, planning of routine analysis, estimation of expenses, supporting of network of analytical survey, etc. The ASPRO-NUC package also includes a vast nuclear data base containing evaluated decay and activation data (reactor, generator of fast neutrons, Cf-252 source). The data base environment allows for easy integration of a gamma spectrometer into a flexible information shell and the creation of a logical system for information management.
Commercially available7LiOH was used for collecting volcanic gas samples on the island of Vulcano, Southern Italy, to determine trace elements by NAA. The high -background activity, which is induced when NaOH solutions are used as collecting agents was avoided in this way. While several elements (Cl, Br, I, As) could be determined in the collected samples, activation products of impurities in7LiOH produced considerable -background and this prevented the determination of other trace elements. An ion-exchange procedure for reducing impurities in7LiOH solutions, in particular of Hg, Ta and W, was then developed and is described here. This procedure, supplemented by steps to eliminate interference from18F in the irradiated samples due to small amounts of6Li in the7LiOH employed will allow very sensitive determinations of further trace elements in volcanic gases.