By Alfred J. Moses
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FIG. 1. Insertion of sample into pneumatic tube for reactor irradiation FIG. 2. Manual loading of sample into reactor FIG. 3. 6 used a well-type sodium iodide gamma ray spectrometer to determine thorium in ores. Major gamma ray peaks were obtained at energies: 0-095, 0-250, 0-585, 1-590 and 2-610MeV. The last two peaks were too weak to afford sufficient sensitivity. The 0-095 MeV radiation suffered from excessive self-absorption. The 0-250 MeV peak provided the highest sensitivity, but was subject to greater self-absorption than the 0-585 MeV peak.
2 shows manual loading of sample into a reactor. 3 portrays a counting room, equipped for the determination of induced gamma activity using multichannel spectrometers with scintillation detectors. Unless pneumatic tubes (often called " rabbits ") are available, the analytical chemist should seek activities with half-lives of at least a few minutes. Anders 11 has described a neutron activation system, using a Van de Graaff accelerator having a thermal neutron flux of about 1 X 10 8 n/cm 2 per sec; samples were analyzed by gamma spectrometry using a 200 channel gamma-ray spectrometer following a 5-min irradiation and a 1-min delay in transfer.
44 THE ACTINIDE ELEMENTS Count tracks with dark field illumination and a 43 X objective and 10 X eyepiece, using immersion oil between slide and condenser lens. Determine number of tracks per unit area and convert to disintegrations per minute, taking into consideration film efficiency, exposure area and exposure time. D E T E R M I N A T I O N OF F I S S I O N A B L E M A T E R I A L S BY F I S S I O N C O U N T I N G The high neutron fission cross section of some actinides can be utilized in the determination of trace quantities of these elements by neutron irradiation and simultaneous counting of the fission fragments.