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By Doug Reilly, Norbert Ensslin, Hastings Smith Jr., Sarah Kreiner

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1 . . .. . - 1 800 2800 I I “.. -. i —- 1000 3000 . -t : . - . 1 . . - # . . . I . . —. -. 1 — .. - i . - . -”----- 1200 1400 1600 1800 3200 3400 3600 3800 I . 2000 4000 CHANNEL Fig. 2% 235(J). The intense gamma rays at 766 and 1001 keV are from the 238U daughter 234mPa, and are often used for the assay of 238U. Most of the weak gamma rays above 1001 keV also come @om 234mPa. (Ann. Rad. :1 1 400 3925 3931 4’” \ 105 6 c) 104 103 102 10’ 400 450 500 550 600 ENERGY 650 700 750 800 (keV) Fig.

The ratio of the linear attenuation coefficient to the density (p//p) is called the mass attenuation coefficient p and has the dimensions of area per unit mass (cm2/g). The units of this coefficient hint that one may think of it as the effective cross-sectional area of electrons per unit mass of absorber. 02 x 1023) and A is the atomic weight of the absorber. The cross section is the probability of a gamma ray interacting with a single atom. Chapter 12 gives a more complete definition of the cross-section concept.

9 shows a spectrum of depleted uranium; the spectrum shows the 238Udaughter radiations often used for 23*U assay. 11 are gamma-ray spectra of plutonium with approximate 240FUconcentrations of 14% and 6%, respectively. $e differences are used to determine the plutonium isotopic composition (see discussion in Chapter 8). 12 shows the characteristic gamma-ray spectrum of 232~ all major thorium gamma rays come from daughter nuclides. 2 Major Gamma-Ray Signatures for Nuclear Material Assay In principle, any of the gamma rays from nuclear material can be used to determine the maw of the isotope that produces them.

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