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Abstract  

Uranium and thorium mixed oxides are being prepared using natural U and Th for studies on fuels for Advanced Heavy Water Reactors, wherein composition of U and Th is specific and requires strict control in terms their contents and homogeneity. Chemical quality control necessitates accurate and precise compositional characterization of the fuel material by a suitable analytical method. Among various analytical methods for U and Th, instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) is one of the best methods for their simultaneous determination without chemical dissolution and separation. INAA methods using reactor neutrons namely thermal NAA and epithermal NAA were standardized for the determination of U and Th in their mixed oxides. Standards, synthetic samples and U–Th mixed oxide samples, prepared in cellulose matrix, were irradiated at pneumatic carrier facility of Dhruva reactor as well as at self serve facility of CIRUS reactor under cadmium cover (0.5 mm). Radioactive assay was carried out using a 40% relative efficiency HPGe detector. Both activation and daughter products of 238U (239U and 239Np) and 232Th (233Th and 233Pa) were used for their concentration determination. The method was validated by analyzing synthetic samples of 6–48%U–Th mixed oxides. The standardized method was used for the concentration determination of U and Th in 4–30%U–Th mixed oxide samples. Results of U and Th concentrations including associated uncertainties obtained from the INAA methods are presented in this paper.

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Abstract  

An epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA) procedure has been evaluated in which samples packed in polyethylene capsules are irradiated during 15 minutes only, and induced activities are counted using well-type Ge-spectrometry. The evaluation was carried out in order to improve on ease of operation in ENAA. Biological and sediment reference materials have been analyzed. Compared to routine INAA, an improvement in detection limits was observed for As, Au, Cd, Mo, Ni, Sb, Sm, Sr, Ta, U, W and Zn. By Au–Zr neutron flux monitors, epithermal flux gradients have been determined. Concentrations found in the reference materials were generally in agreement with certified and consensus values.

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Abstract  

Neutron activation analysis was successfully applied to the determination of Th and U at ppt levels in a neutral hot spring water. Blank test corrections were found to be essential to reach the final determined values. Normal NAA is a better method for the Th determination than epithermal NAA, while both NAAs are nearly equally effective for U determination.

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Abstract  

The study of halogens particularly bromine and chlorine in Arctic aerosolshas received a great deal of attention in the past decade in ozone depletionduring polar sunrise studies. Iodine has also been studied as part of geochemicalcycling. We have shown that all three of the above elements can be determinedsimultaneously with very low detection limits using epithermal NAA in conjunctionwith Compton suppression methods. Besides lowering the background considerably,Compton suppression can eliminate or minimize the overlapping peak of the620 keV photopeak arising form the 1642 keV double escape peak of 38Cl interfering with the 616.9 keV photopeak of 79Br(n,) 80 Br reaction. Iodine is ideally determined by epithermal NAAbecause of its very good resonance integral cross-section. Although chlorineis usually determined using thermal neutrons via the 37Cl(n,) 38Cl reactions, epithermal NAA is still feasible for the Arcticaerosol, since it has a major sea-salt component.

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Abstract  

Determination of Th and U in acidic hot spring and crater lake waters was investigated by neutron activation analysis (NAA). Before neutron irradiation, Th and U were preconcentrated and separated from interfering nuclides such as alkali metals and halogens by coprecipitation with aluminium. Irradiation was carried out in two ways, viz., irradiation with Cd foil wrapping (epithermal NAA) and irradiation without Cd foil wrapping (normal NAA). The final determined values of Th and U were at ppb levels. Higher reliability of the determined values was obtained for Th than for U. It was found that epithermal NAA was more effective for the determination of these two actinides than normal NAA and was more effective for the determination of U than that of Th.

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Abstract  

Determination of the rare earth elements (REE's) in acidic hot spring and crater lake waters by neutron activation analysis (NAA), in which activation was performed mostly by epithermal neutrons (epithermal NAA) was investigated. Nine REE's, La, Ce, Sm, Eu, Tb, Ho, Tm, Yb and Lu, out of fourteen naturally existing REE's were determined at ppb levels with satisfactory precision. The epithermal NAA was found to be more effective in the determination of Sm, Tb, Ho and Yb than normal NAA, in which activation was performed mainly by thermal neutrons. Combined use of the epithermal and normal NAA's enabled the determination of eleven REE's, La, Ce, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Tm, Yb and Lu.

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Abstract  

A procedure is described for determining the noble metals in geological samples of varied composition (Si enriched or Cr enriched). This rapid separation procedure allows very low detection limits for all PGE (except Rh) and Ag. It uses the coprecipitation of Pd, Pt, Au, Ag and Ru with Se and Te, and the fixation of Os on an ion-exchange resin. Ir is systematically determined by epithermal NAA using multiparameter coincidence spectrometry.

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Summary  

We have determined nineteen trace elements in 685 aerosol filter samples collected during 1964-1978 in northern Finland by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. In this paper we present some procedures and results for very short (~25 s), short (~3-54 min), and medium (12-35 h) lived isotopes as determined by epithermal NAA in conjunction with and without Compton suppression. Elements with a Iγ/σthratio are favorable to be determined by epithermal NAA. Silver was determined by a one minute epithermal irradiation because of a very short 110Ag half-life. Antimony, arsenic, cobalt, bromine, indium, iodine, potassium, silicon, tin, tungsten, and zinc were determined by a ten minute epithermal irradiation. For silver determination, samples were counted without transferring the filter from the irradiated vial, however, for ten minute irradiation all samples were transferred to a non-irradiated vial and counted both in the normal and Compton mode by the HPGe gamma-spectrometry system with a decay time of about 10 minutes and counting time of 15 minutes. Each day a maximum of 16 samples were irradiated and immediately following the short counting, these samples were loaded into an automatic sample changer in sequence of irradiation and counted for an hour in both normal and Compton modes. This has proven to be an extremely cost effective measure thus reducing the need to employ long-lived NAA to analyze other elements such as Ag, Co, Sn and Zn and Ag for air pollution source receptor modeling.

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Summary  

Halides, particularly Br- and Cl-, have been used as indicators of potential sources of Na+ and Cl- in surface water and groundwater with limited success. Contamination of groundwater and surface water by Na+ and Cl- is a common occurrence in growing urban areas and adversely affects municipal and private water supplies in Illinois and other states, as well as vegetation in environmentally sensitive areas. Neutron activation analysis (NAA) can be effectively used to determine these halogens, but often the elevated concentrations of sodium and chlorine in water samples can give rise to very high detection limits for bromine and iodine due to elevated backgrounds from the activation process. We present a detailed analytical scheme to determine Cl, Br and I in aqueous samples with widely varying Na and Cl concentrations using epithermal NAA in conjunction with Compton suppression.

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