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Abstract  

During the past decade we have determined the concentrations of a variety of trace elements in the Arctic aerosol by using themal and epithemal neutron activation analysis (NAA). More recently we have employed Compton suppression NAA to lower the detection limits for radionuclides that are characteristic of single or mainly single gamma-ray emission. Using these various methods, we have been able to use elements such as indium and silicon. Furthermore we have achieved extremely low detection limits for iodine, arsenic and antimony. The usefulness of these NAA methods are discussed in a large sampling program that incorporates more than one thousand samples.

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Three aromatic polyimides based on 3,3′,4,4′-biphenyl-tetracarboxylic dianhydride (BPDA) and three different diamines 2,2′-bis(trifluoromethyl)-4,4′-diaminobiphenyl (PFMB), 2,2′-dimethyl-4, 4′-diaminophenyl (DMB) or 3,3′-dimethylbenzidine (OTOL) have been synthesized. These polyimides are soluble in hotp-chlorophenol,m-cresol or other phenolic solvents. Fibers have been spun from isotropic solutions using a dry-jet wet spinning method. The as-spun fibers generally exhibit low tensile properties, and can be drawn at elevated temperatures (>380° C) up to a draw ratio of 10 times. Remarkable increases in tensile strength and modulus are achieved after drawing and annealing. The crystal structures of highly drawn fibers were determinedvia wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). The crystal unit cell lattices have been determined to be monoclinic for BPDA-PFMB and triclinic for both BPDA-DMB and BPDA-OTOL. Thermomechanical analysis (TMA) was used to measure thermal shrinkage stress and strain. A selfelongation has been found in the temperature region around 450°C. This phenomenon can be explained as resulting from the structural development in the fibers as evidencedvia WAXD observations.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: D. Xu, Q. L. Ning, X. Zhou, C. L. Chen, X. L. Tan, A. D. Wu, and X. Wang

Summary  

Effects of ionic strength and of fulvic acid on the sorption of Eu(III) on alumina were investigated by using a batch technique. The experiments were carried out at T=25±1 °C, pH 4-6 and in the presence of 1M NaCl. The results indicate that sorption isotherms of Eu(III) are linear at low pH values. The sorption-desorption of Eu(III) on alumina at pH 4.4 is reversible, but a sorption-desorption hysteresis is found at pH 5.0. Fulvic acid has an obvious positive effect on the sorption of Eu(III) on alumina at low pH values. The migration of Eu(III) in alumina was studied by using column experiments and 152+154Eu(III) radiotracer at pH 3.8. For column experiments, Eu(III) sorbed on alumina can be desorbed completely from the solid surface at low pH values. The findings are relevant to the evaluation of lanthanide and actinide ions in the environment.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: K. Inn, Zhichao Lin, Zhongyu Wu, C. McMahon, J. Filliben, P. Krey, M. Feiner, Chung-King Liu, R. Holloway, J. Harvey, I. Larsen, T. Beasley, C. Huh, S. Morton, D. McCurdy, P. Germain, J. Handl, M. Yamamoto, B. Warren, T. Bates, A. Holms, B. Harvey, D. Popplewell, M. Woods, S. Jerome, K. Odell, P. Young, and I. Croudace

Abstract  

In 1977, the Low-level Working Group of the International Committee on Radionuclide Metrology met in Boston, MA (USA) to define the characteristics of a new set of environmental radioactivity reference materials. These reference materials were to provide the radiochemist with the same analytical challenges faced when assaying environmental samples. It was decided that radionuclide bearing natural materials should be collected from sites where there had been sufficient time for natural processes to redistribute the various chemically different species of the radionuclides. Over the succeeding years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in cooperation with other highly experienced laboratories, certified and issued a number of these as low-level radioactivity Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) for fission and activation product and actinide concentrations. The experience of certifying these SRMs has given NIST the opportunity to compare radioanalytical methods and learn of their limitations. NIST convened an international workshop in 1994 to define the natural-matrix radionuclide SRM needs for ocean studies. The highest priorities proposed at the workshop were for sediment, shellfish, seaweed, fish flesh and water matrix SRMs certified for mBq per sample concentrations of 90 Sr, 137 Cs and 239 Pu + 240 Pu. The most recent low-level environmental radionuclide SRM issued by NIST, Ocean Sediment (SRM 4357) has certified and uncertified values for the following 22 radionuclides: 40 K, 90 Sr, 129 I, 137 Cs, 155 Eu, 210 Pb, 210 Po, 212 Pb, 214 Bi, 226 Ra, 228 Ra, 228 Th, 230 Th, 232 Th, 234 U, 235 U, 237 Np, 238 U, 238 Pu, 239 Pu + 240 Pu, and 241 Am. The uncertainties for a number of the certified radionuclides are non-symmetrical and relatively large because of the non-normal distribution of reported values. NIST is continuing its efforts to provide the ocean studies community with additional natural matrix radionuclide SRMs. The freeze-dried shellfish flesh matrix has been prepared and recently sent to participating laboratories for analysis and we anticipate receiving radioanalytical results in 2000. The research and development work at NIST produce well characterized SRMs that provide the world's environment-studies community with an important foundation component for radionuclide metrology.

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