acta physica slovaca

Acta Physica Slovaca 58, No.1, 1-154 (2008) (154 pages)

New isotope technologies in environmental physics

P.P.Povineca, M.Bettib, A.J.T.Jullc, P.Vojtylad
   aFaculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University
   Mlynsk√° dolina, SK-84248 Bratislava, Slovakia
   bEuropean Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements
   P.O. Box 2340, 76137 Karlsruhe, Germany
   cNSF Arizona AMS Laboratory and Departments of Physics and Geosciences
   University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0081, USA
   dEuropean Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland


Full text: ::pdf :: (received 17.4.2008, accepted 24.4.2008)

Abstract: As the levels of radionuclides observed at present in the environment are very low, high sensitive analytical systems are required for carrying out environmental investigations. We review recent progress which has been done in low-level counting techniques in both radiometrics and mass spectrometry sectors, with emphasis on underground laboratories, Monte Carlo (GEANT) simulation of background of HPGe detectors operating in various configurations, secondary ionisation mass spectrometry, and accelerator mass spectrometry. Applications of radiometrics and mass spectrometry techniques in radioecology and climate change studies are presented and discussed as well. The review should help readers in better orientation on recent developments in the field of low-level counting and spectrometry, and to advice on construction principles of underground laboratories, as well as on criteria how to choose low or high energy mass spectrometers for environmental investigations.

PACS: PACS: 07.85.Nc, 24.10.Lx, 29.20Ba, 29.30.Ep, 29.40Mc, 29.40.Wk, 82.80.Ms, 92.60.Ry, 98.70.Sa
Keywords: Radionuclides; Depleted uranium; HPGe detectors; Liquid scintilla- tion spectrometry; Low-level counting; Underground laboratory; Monte Carlo simulation; GEANT; In situ underwater gamma-spectrometry; Mass spectrometry; Secondary ionisation mass spectrometry; Induc- tively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; Thermal ionisation mass spectrometry; Resonance ionisation mass spectrometry; Accelerator mass spectrometry; Radioecology; Climate change
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