, Volume 291, Issue 1, pp 13-17
Date: 26 Jun 2011

Establishing a basis for nuclear archaeometry in Australia using the 20 MW OPAL research reactor

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Abstract

The k 0-method of standardisation for instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) has been used at the OPAL research reactor to determine the elemental composition of three certified reference materials: coal fly ash (SRM 1633b), brick clay (SRM 679) and Montana soil (SRM 2711). Of the 41 certified elements in the three materials, 88 percent were within five percent of the certified values and all determinations were within 15 percent of the certified values. The average difference between the measured and certified values was 0.1 percent, with a standard deviation of 4.1 percent. Since these reference materials are widely used as standards in the analysis of archaeological ceramics by INAA, it has been concluded that the INAA facility in Australia is particularly well-suited for nuclear archaeometry.