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  • Author or Editor: P. Bowen x
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Aluminate sodalite ceramics, (Sr8Al12O24)(CrO4)2) — SACR, have been prepared from solution spray-dried precursors. The spray drying of a mixed aqueous nitrate solution gave an anhydrous powder which was thermally decomposed in air at 1350 °C to give a crystalline SACR powder with a median volume diameter of 4–6 μm. The SACR powder was dry pressed and sintered to >90% density. The yellow SACR powder showed two phase transitions between 10 and 45 °C with a 25 ° intermediate phase region indicative of a low defect concentration in the crystalline structure. A colour change observed in the sintered ceramic (changing to a mixed green/yellow) and a narrowing of the phase transition region (15–40 °C) are discussed. Dielectric measurements were consistent with the presence of two extrinsic ferroelectric transitions at 17 and 35 °C.

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A study was initiated to investigate the chronological deposition of uranium in certain species of trees growing on the site of a former uranium metal processing facility. The Feed Materials Production Center (FMPC) is located in Fernald, Ohio, and for roughly 40 years operated as a large scale uranium processing center. Core samples from several species of trees growing in different locations throughout the site were extracted using a 12.5 mm incremental wood boring drill bit. After extraction, each core sample was cut and packaged into individual sections representing 4 annual growth rings and submitted for instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). The reaction 235U(n,f)140Ba→140La+γ was evaluated using high resolution germanium gamma-spectroscopy to detect the 1.596 MeV photon emission from the fission product 140La following a minimum of a 3 week decay. A total of 106 samples representing 7 individual trees of 3 unique species were irradiated. In addition to the tree-core samples, 18 quality control (QC) samples and 18 standard reference material (SRM) Fly Ash samples were irradiated with the core samples for determining neutron flux. The activity in any one sample in a batch was determined by comparison with the amount of natural uranium in the QC standards. No significantly measurable amount of uranium was detected in any of the tree core samples, although 3 tree core samples were in excess of the minimum detectable amount (30 ng).

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