Evaluation of nuclear effects in the analysis of plastics by neutron activation analysis
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Validation of a method for the determination of trace elements in plastic using neutron activation analysis (NAA) required evaluation of nuclear effects. Since plastic is a moderator of neutrons, it is possible that the neutron flux may be affected in such a way as to effectively increase or decrease the measured activity of radionuclides within the plastic. Such effects are likely to depend on the thickness of the sample and so thicknesses of plastic ranging from 1 to 20 mm were used to quantify the effects. A standard containing vanaldium (a thermal neutron absorber) and silver (with epithermal neutron resonances) was used in a sandwich of the plastic. The sandwich was then irradiated and the standard counted. The activity of each radionuclide for each thickness was evaluated. The results showed that a variation of only 10% maximum was observed for thicknesses up to 20 mm. An increase in measured activity was observed for both the thermal and epithermal absorbers.
KeywordsPhysical Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry Radionuclide Activation Analysis Measured Activity
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