The intensity of the 1001 keV -ray occurring in the decay of234mPa in equilibrium with natural uranium sources is found to be (0.818±0.030)%. This value is in agreement with a recent measurement employing depleted uranium sources, but does not agree with earlier reports employing radiochemically pure sources.
The sulphur contents of samples of three types of carrageenan and protein/carrageenan complexes have been determined using simultaneous Deuteron Induced X-ray Emission (DIXE) and Nuclear Reaction Analysis (NRA). The measured relative sulphur contents of the carrageenan samples were in close agreement with those expected from their chemical structures. Analysis of carrageenan precipitated protein/carrageenan complexes, samples not amenable to conventional chemical assays, indicates that precipitation is less efficient at carrageenan levels above 50ppm. At such levels the excess carrageenan remains in solution and represents a waste of a costly resource in a commercial environment.
Improvements in the detection limits of thorium and uranium in acrylics by neutron activation analysis are described. The average of results from 10 g samples was found to be higher than the results from 450 g samples taken from the same acrylic sheet. Using eighteen large (450 g) samples from a single sheet of acrylic gave an average value of 3.2±0.3 pg/g thorium and 1.1±0.7 pg/g uranium. Interpretation of the results is discussed. Epithermal neutron activation with Cd shielded irradiations did not improve the detection sensitivity for thorium.
The techniques employed to measure Th concentrations in acrylic (PMMA) samples at a level of a few tens of ppt are described. Measurements on eleven different acrylic samples yielded a mean Th concentration of 40±20 ppt.
The method of proton-induced X-ray emission (or PIXE) analysis has been investigated with reference to the study of minor
and trace elements in biological tissue. Methods of specimen preparation have been investigated, and optimum instrumental
conditions arrived at. The lower limits of detection for lead and zinc in blood have been investigated and have been found
to be approximately 0.3 and 0.1 ppm for lead and zinc respectively, for a proton energy of 2.5 MeV. The concentrations of
copper, zinc and iron have been studied in normal and diseased human liver tissue. In cirrhotic tissue the copper levels are
substantially raised. We note also a diminution in liver iron in a case of alcoholic cirrhosis associated with clinical anaemia;
and a blood zinc deficiency in primary biliary cirrhosis. The results are discussed in relation to existing work.
Due to a need for security screening instruments capable of detecting explosives and nuclear materials there is growing interest
in neutron generator systems suitable for field use for applications broadly referred to as active neutron interrogation (ANI).
Over the past two years Thermo Electron Corporation has developed a suite of different compact accelerator neutron generator
products specifically designed for ANI field work to meet this demand. These systems incorporate hermetically-sealed particle
accelerator tubes designed to produce fast neutrons using either the deuterium-deuterium (En = 2.5 MeV) or deuterium-tritium (En = 14.1 MeV) fusion reactions. Employing next-generation features including advanced sealed-tube accelerator designs, all-digital
control electronics and innovative housing configurations these systems are suitable for many different uses. A compact system
weighing less than 14 kg (MP 320) with a lifetime exceeding 1000 hours has been developed for portable applications. A system
for fixed installations (P 325) has been developed with an operating life exceeding 4500 hours that incorporates specific
serviceability features for permanent facilities with difficult-to-access shield blocks. For associated particle imaging (API)
investigations a second-generation system (API 120) with an operating life of greater than 1000 hours has been developed for
field use in which a high resolution fiber-optic imaging plate is specially configured to take advantage of a neutron point-source
spot size of ∼2 mm.