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Abstract  

To properly interpret the quality of a gamma-spectroscopy measurement, an uncertainty estimate must be made. The uncertainty in the efficiency calibration is the dominant component to the total propagated measurement uncertainty for many types of measurements. Any deviations between the as-calibrated geometry and the as-measured geometry contribute to the total uncertainty. A mathematical technique has been developed to evaluate the variations between calibration and measurement conditions. A sensitivity analysis mode identifies those variables with the largest contribution to the uncertainty. The uncertainty mode uses probabilistic techniques for the combined variables to compute average efficiency and uncertainty, and then to propagate those values with the gamma-spectroscopic analysis into the final result for that sample.

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Abstract  

There has been a significant research effort on the development of an oil industry based on Australian oil shales. However, to date the research has been based mainly on the processing aspects of oil shale. The thermal analyses of oil shales, while having been the subject of many studies, have been limited to some extent by instrumentation and analytical techniques. This paper reports on thermal analysis studies utilising traditional thermogravimetry/differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The application of modern thermal analysis techniques such as high resolution TG (HRTG) and modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) is also examined and compared to the traditional methods.

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Summary  

The In-Situ Object Calibration Software (ISOCS) and the Laboratory Sourceless Calibration Software (LabSOCS) developed and patented by Canberra Industries have found widespread use in the gamma-spectrometry community. Using the ISOCS methodology, one can determine the full energy peak efficiencies of a germanium detector in the 45 keV-7 MeV energy range, for practically any source matrix and geometry. The underlying mathematical techniques used in ISOCS (and LabSOCS) have undergone significant improvements and enhancements since their first release in 1996. One of these improvements is  a spatial response characterization technique that is capable of handling the large variations in efficiency that occurs within a small region. The technique has been in use in ISOCS and LabSOCS releases since 1999, and has significantly improved the overall quality of the close-in and off-axis response characterization for HPGe detectors, especially for Canberra’s Broad Energy Germanium (BEGe) detectors. In this method, the detector response is characterized by creating a set of fine spatial efficiency grids at 15 energies in the 45 keV-7 MeV range. The spatial grids are created in (r,&) space about the detector, with the radius r varying from 0 to 500 meters, and the angle & varying from 0 to π. The reference efficiencies for creating the spatial grids are determined from MCNP calculations using a validated detector model. Once the efficiency grids are created, the detector response can be determined at any arbitrary point within a sphere of 500-meter radius, and at any arbitrary energy within the specified range. Results are presented highlighting the improved performance achieved using the gridding methodology.

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Correlations between juvenile wheat root traits, and grain yield and yield component traits under optimal field conditions have previously been reported in some conditions. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that juvenile wheat root traits correlate with yield, yield components and grain mineral composition traits under a range of soil environments in India. A diverse panel of 36 Indian wheat genotypes were grown for ten days in ‘pouch and wick’ high-throughput phenotyping (HTP) system (20 replicates). Correlations between juvenile root architecture traits, including primary and lateral root length, and grain yield, yield components and grain mineral composition traits were determined, using field data from previously published experiments at six sites in India. Only a limited number of juvenile root traits correlated with grain yield (GYD), yield components, and grain mineral composition traits. A narrow root angle, potentially representing a ‘steep’ phenotype, was associated with increased GYD and harvest index (HI) averaged across sites and years. Length related root traits were not correlated with GYD or HI at most sites, however, the total length of lateral roots and lateral root number correlated with GYD at a sodic site of pH 9.5. The total length of lateral roots (TLLR) correlated with grain zinc (Zn) concentration at one site. A wider root angle, representing a shallow root system, correlated with grain iron (Fe) concentration at most sites. The total length of all roots (TLAR) and total length of primary roots (TLPR) correlated with grain S concentration at most sites. Narrow root angle in juvenile plants could be a useful proxy trait for screening germplasm for improved grain yield. Lateral root and shallow root traits could potentially be used to improve grain mineral concentrations. The use of juvenile root traits should be explored further in wheat breeding for diverse environments.

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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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