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  • Author or Editor: M. Zheng x
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Summary  

Studies on the environmental behavior of plutonium in the marine environment require an analytical method with high sensitivity and capability to provide the isotopic composition of Pu in marine samples. In this work, as part of our on-going project on Pu environmental behavior in the Pacific Ocean, a sector field ICP-MS method combined with an off-line anion-exchange chromatography system was optimized for the determination of Pu and its atomic ratio of 240Pu/239Pu in sediment core samples. Using a conical concentric nebulizer and 150-second counting time, we were able to lower the detection limit of Pu down to 0.35 fg. The mass discrimination effect was evaluated using a mixed Pu isotope standard solution with certified a 240Pu/239Pu isotope ratio (NBS-947). The overall performance of the analytical method was validated by the determination of Pu and its isotope composition in an ocean sediment reference material (IAEA-368). Both the 239+240Pu activity and 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratio were found to be in good agreement with the certified and/or literature values. As an important application, we employed the analytical method to investigate the vertical profiles of 239+240Pu activity and 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratio in sediment cores in the Sea of Okhotsk and the NW Pacific. It was found that the Bikini close-in fallout Pu could be transported as far as the Sea of Okhotsk. The results provided evidence to support our hypothesis on the oceanic current transportation of Bikini close-in fallout Pu in the NW Pacific and its marginal seas.

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Abstract  

The isotope fractionation of potassium in an aqueous (KOH)/amalgam system has been studied. Two types of isotope effects with opposite isotope enrichment directions were observed in the electrolysis of potassium from the aqueous into the amalgam phase under constant electrolytic potentials. It was found that the first isotope effect causing the light isotope enriched in the amalgam is related to the kinetic process of the mass transfer through the aqueous/amalgam interface, while the second one leading to the enrichment of the heavy isotope in the amalgam phase is produced by the isotope-exchange equilibrium. The temperature dependence of the equilibrium isotope effect was also investigated using single-stage and multi-stage techniques. It was observed that the equilibrium isotope effect increases as the temperature increases in the range of 293-371 K. An empirical equation was used to fit the variations of the isotope effects with temperature for potassium together with the other alkaline and alkaline earth metals studied in the same system. The origin of the equilibrium isotope fractionation in the electron-exchange system was discussed. Furthermore, the mass dependence of the separation coefficients of the alkaline and alkaline earth metals observed in aqueous/amalgam and ion-exchange systems were compared. At 293 K the equilibrium isotope separation coefficient for the 39K/41K isotopes in the amalgam system was determined as (5.6±0.6).10-3.

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Summary  

From the viewpoint of environmental radioactivity monitoring, the determination of uranium and its isotope ratio is important for identifying and assessing the environmental impact of any unexpected release from nuclear facilities. In this work, a survey was conducted to determine 238U concentrations and 235U/238U atom ratios in coastal waters off Rokkasho Village, Aomori, Japan, where several uranium-related nuclear facilities have been operating since 1992, and a newly constructed nuclear fuel reprocessing plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2006. Seawater samples were analyzed directly after a 10-fold dilution using isotope dilution sector-field ICP-MS. Based on the results, we concluded that there is no observable uranium contamination in the investigated sites. In addition, for the first time, a correlation between uranium concentration and salinity was established in coastal waters using the SF-ICP-MS technique.

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Abstract  

Heat capacity measurements were carried out on single-crystalline CuO in the temperature range 130–300 K. Sharp peaks corresponding to the antiferromagnetic transitions were clearly observed at 211 and 227 K. At the low-temperature end, near 160 K, a wide peak in the heat capacity signal was also demonstrated. An electric anomaly was observed in the temperature range 150–160 K, which strongly suggests the possibility of a new low-temperature phase transition in CuO. This study also indicates that DSC measurement is an effective tool to detect magnetic transitions and probe subtle phase transitions in solids.

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Abstract  

Calorimetric measurement of adsorption enthalpies of native lysozyme(Lyz) on a moderately hydrophobic surface at 25°C, pH 7.0 and various salt concentrations was performed. Based on the thermodynamics of stoichiometric displacement theory (SDT), we calculated the fractions of thermodynamic functions involving four subprocesses during a displacement adsorption process from the directly determined enthalpies in combination with adsorption isotherm measurements. The thermodynamic fractions reveal the relative degree of the four subprocesses for contributions to enthalpy, entropy and free energy. The results show that native Lyz adsorption on a moderately hydrophobic surface is an entropy driven process contributed mainly by conformational loss of adsorbed Lyz.

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In the present paper, CFD simulation is used to perform the numerical calculation of behaviours of multi-blade drag typed VAWT. The sliding grid technology, FLUENT software and PISO algorithm are involved. By taking wind power efficiency C p as the goal function, the optimal situations of multi-blade drag typed VAWT with 4 and 6 blades are conducted by CFD simulation. In this investigation, the variable parameters include the rotation rate of wind-mill ω, the blade installation angle θ and the blade width d. The results show that: the optimal working conditions for the 4-blade wind mill at the inlet wind speed 8 m/s are ω = 18 r/ min, θ = 28°, and d = 0.83 m, which induces an optimal wind power efficiency rate C p = 27.127%; the optimal working conditions for the 6-blade wind mill at the inlet wind speed 8 m/s are ω = 18 r/min, θ = 27°, and d = 0.67 m, which leads to an optimal wind power efficiency rate C p = 30.404%.

Open access

Abstract  

An analytical method for the determination of 239Pu and 240Pu in marine particle samples by sector field high-resolution ICP-MS was developed. The method was applied for large and small particle samples (particle diameter: >70 μm and 1–70 μm, respectively, collected with a large volume in situ filtration and concentration system at different depths in the water column off Rokkaho, Japan, where the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant of Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. has started test operation since March 2006.

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To investigate the formation of mobile organic plutonium, we analyzed the plutonium contents of the fulvic (FA) and humic (HA) acids from the soil samples obtained at Nishiyama, Nagasaki, Japan. The percentages of the plutonium bound strongly to HA and to FA vs. the total plutonium in the soil were 5–10% and 1%, respectively, at the depth of 0–0.1 m, much higher values than those of137Cs and uranium. After being weathered for 51 years under a temperate climate, the initial highfired oxides of fallout plutonium have become as chemically reactive plutonium from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants.

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In this paper, the wind energy resource in China’s oilfields is analyzed, the difference between China’s energy consumption structure and that of the world in average is analyzed as well, and the application prospect of wind heating technology in China’s oilfields is discussed as an example to reform China’s energy consumption structure. It shows that it is possible to use wind energy as an appropriate heat resource or supplementary heat source in some oilfields to supply heat energy for oil heating and living, more room to improve the energy resource utilization in various fields in China remain. It is a benefit to both oilfield and society to improve energy saving and environments.

Open access

Abstract  

Due to the different 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios from different sources of Pu in the environment, Pu isotopes have been widely used for source identification of radionuclides in sediments. In this work, using sector-field ICP-MS, we investigated Pu inventory and its isotopic composition in a lacustrine sediment core collected in Chenghai Lake, SW China. The 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios in this sediment core ranged from 0.166 to 0.271 with a mean of 0.195±0.021, which was slightly higher than that of global fallout. The 239+240Pu/137Cs activity ratios ranged from 0.0155 to 0.0411, with a mean of 0.0215, and the 239+240Pu inventory was 35.4 MBq/km2; both 239+240Pu/137Cs activity ratio and Pu inventory were close to those values of global fallout at 20–30 °N. Three peaks were observed for both 137Cs and 239+240Pu activities in the examined sediment core; they most probably indicated the maximum deposition of global fallout between 1963 and 1964, the fallout from a series of Chinese nuclear tests during the 1970s, and the deposition of resuspended Pu-bearing particles from the Chernobyl accident. Therefore, the vertical profile of Pu isotopes should provide useful time markers for rapid dating of recent sediments.

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