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Calibration of a liquid scintillation counter for alpha, beta and Cerenkov counting

Description: Calibration data are presented for 25 radionuclides that were individually measured in a Packard Tri-Carb 2250CA liquid scintillation (LS) counter by both conventional and Cerenkov detection techniques. The relationships and regression data between the quench indicating parameters and the LS counting efficiencies were determined using microliter amounts of tracer added to low {sup 40}K borosilicate glass vials containing 15 mL of Insta-Gel XF scintillation cocktail. Using {sup 40}K, the detection efficiencies were linear over a three order of magnitude range (10 - 10,000 mBq) in beta activity for both LS and Cerenkov counting. The Cerenkov counting efficiency (CCE) increased linearly (42% per MeV) from 0.30 to 2.0 MeV, whereas the LS efficiency was >90% for betas with energy in excess of 0.30 MeV. The CCE was 20 - 50% less than the LS counting efficiency for beta particles with maximum energies in excess of 1 MeV. Based on replicate background measurements, the lower limit of detection (LLD) for a 1-h count at the 95% confidence level, using water as a solvent, was 0.024 counts sec-{sup -1} and 0.028 counts sec-1 for plastic and glass vials, respectively. The LLD for a 1-h-count ranged from 46 to 56 mBq (2.8 - 3.4 dpm) for both Cerenkov and conventional LS counting. This assumes: (1) a 100% counting efficiency, (2) a 50% yield of the nuclide of interest, (3) a 1-h measurement time using low background plastic vials, and (4) a 0-50 keV region of interest. The LLD is reduced an order of magnitude when the yield recovery exceeds 90% and a lower background region is used (i.e., 100 - 500 keV alpha region of interest). Examples and applications of both Cerenkov and LS counting techniques are given in the text and appendices.
Date: July 1, 1996
Creator: Scarpitta, S.C. & Fisenne, I.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A portable battery-powered continuous airborne {sup 222}Rn sampler

Description: The Polyport, designed at the Environmental Measurements Laboratory (EML) for deployment in atmospheric balloons or remote areas, was laboratory and field tested to determine its effectiveness in collecting {sup 222}Rn gas in dry and humid air. Twelve 6-cm long tubes containing 0.4 g of Carboxen{trademark}-564 a hydrophobic beaded carbon molecular sieve (BCMS) material efficiently adsorbs airborne {sup 222}Rn under dynamic sampling conditions of 1--2 hr duration. The exposed sorbent is later weighed for water uptake, transferred and counted in a low background liquid scintillation (LS) counter that can detect alpha and beta emitting {sup 222}Rn progeny with a maximum counting efficiency of 5 cpm per dpm. Each sorbent tube can be gamma counted if it contains sufficient adsorbed {sup 214}Pb and {sup 214}Bi activity. The variables tested were sampling flow rate, temperature, sampling time and relative humidity (RH).
Date: April 1, 1998
Creator: Scarpitta, S. & Kadnar, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preparation and validation of gross alpha/beta samples used in EML`s quality assessment program

Description: A set of water and filter samples have been incorporated into the existing Environmental Measurements Laboratory`s (EML) Quality Assessment Program (QAP) for gross alpha/beta determinations by participating DOE laboratories. The participating laboratories are evaluated by comparing their results with the EML value. The preferred EML method for measuring water and filter samples, described in this report, uses gas flow proportional counters with 2 in. detectors. Procedures for sample preparation, quality control and instrument calibration are presented. Liquid scintillation (LS) counting is an alternative technique that is suitable for quantifying both the alpha ({sup 241}Am, {sup 230}Th and {sup 238}Pu) and beta ({sup 90}Sr/{sup 90}Y) activity concentrations in the solutions used to prepare the QAP water and air filter samples. Three LS counting techniques (Cerenkov, dual dpm and full spectrum analysis) are compared. These techniques may be used to validate the activity concentrations of each component in the alpha/beta solution before the QAP samples are actually prepared.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Scarpitta, S.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Throughout the scientific community, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is renowned for its leading-edge research in physics, medicine, chemistry, biology, materials, and the environment. BNL is committed to supporting its world-class scientific research with an internationally recognized environmental protection program. The 1999 Site Environmental Report (SER) summarizes the status of the Laboratory's environmental programs and performance, including the steady progress towards cleaning up the site and fully integrating environmental stewardship into all facets of the Laboratory's mission. BNL is located on 5,265 acres of pine barrens in Suffolk County in the center of Long Island, New York. The Laboratory is situated above a sole source aquifer at the headwaters of the Peconic River; therefore, protecting ground and surface water quality is a special concern. Approximately 3,600 acres of the site are undeveloped and serve as habitat for a wide variety of animals and plants, including one New York State endangered species, the tiger salamander, and two New York State threatened species, the banded sunfish and the stiff goldenrod. Monitoring, preserving, and restoring these ecological resources is a high priority for the Laboratory.
Date: September 1, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intercomparison of active, passive and continuous instruments for radon and radon progeny measurements in the EML chamber and test facility

Description: Results are presented from the Fifth Intercomparison of Active, Passive and Continuous Instruments for Radon and Radon Progeny Measurements conducted in the EML radon exposure and test facility in May 1996. In total, thirty-four government, private and academic facilities participated in the exercise with over 170 passive and electronic devices exposed in the EML test chamber. During the first week of the exercise, passive and continuous measuring devices were exposed (usually in quadruplicate) to about 1,280 Bq m{sup {minus}3} {sup 222}Rn for 1--7 days. Radon progeny measurements were made during the second week of the exercise. The results indicate that all of the tested devices that measure radon gas performed well and fulfill their intended purpose. The grand mean (GM) ratio of the participants` reported values to the EML values, for all four radon device categories, was 0.99 {plus_minus} 0.08. Eighty-five percent of all the radon measuring devices that were exposed in the EML radon test chamber were within {plus_minus}1 standard deviation (SD) of the EML reference values. For the most part, radon progeny measurements were also quite good as compared to the EML values. The GM ratio for the 10 continuous PAEC instruments was 0.90 {plus_minus} 0.12 with 75% of the devices within 1 SD of the EML reference values. Most of the continuous and integrating electronic instruments used for measuring the PAEC underestimated the EML values by about 10--15% probably because the concentration of particles onto which the radon progeny were attached was low (1,200--3,800 particles cm{sup {minus}3}). The equilibrium factor at that particle concentration level was 0.10--0.22.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Scarpitta, S.C.; Tu, K.W.; Fisenne, I.M.; Cavallo, A. & Perry, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department