Direct low-energy measurement of 37Ar and 127Xe in a radiotracer gas using low-background proportional counters
A radiotracer gas with a blend of 37Ar and 127Xe was created for a gas migration experiment and was characterized at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory using ultra-low-background proportional counters. This paper describes the direct low-energy measurement of 37Ar and 127Xe in a dual-isotope sample. Using this low-energy technique, the dual-isotope radiotracer gas was determined to have activity concentrations of 483 Bq/cc and 1435 Bq/cc for 37Ar and 127Xe, respectively, and a ratio of 1:3 on the reference date of 7/11/2016.
Keywords37Ar 127Xe Ultra-low-background Proportional counter Underground nuclear explosion Radiotracer
The Underground Nuclear Explosion Signatures Experiment (UNESE) was created to apply a broad range of research and development (R&D) techniques and technologies to nuclear explosion monitoring and nuclear nonproliferation. It is a multi-year research and development project sponsored by NNSA DNN R&D, and is collaboratively executed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Technologies, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. This work was performed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory under award number DE-AC05-76RL01830. Information Release No. PNNL-SA-133392.
- 6.Seifert A, Aalseth CE, Day AR, Fuller ES, Hoppe EW, Keillor ME, Mace EK, Overman CT, Warren GA (2013) The design, construction, and initial characterization of an ultra-low-background gas-proportional counting system. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 296(2):915–921. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10967-012-2059-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 11.Haas DA, Orrell JL, Bowyer TW, McIntyre JI, Miley HS, Aalseth CE, Hayes JC (2010) The science case for 37Ar as a monitor for underground nuclear explosionsGoogle Scholar
- 17.Xiang YC, Gong J, Li W, Bian ZS, Hao FH, Wang HX, Wang Q, Xiong ZH (2008) Development of a system of measuring 37Ar by spectrum method. Wuli Xuebao 57(2):784–789Google Scholar
- 18.Firestone RB, Shirley VS, Baglin CM, Chu SYF, Zipkin J (1997) Table of isotopes. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 19.Cagniant A, Le Petit G, Nadalut B, Gross P, Richard-Bressand H, Fontaine JP, Douysset G (2014) On the use of 127Xe standards for the quality control of CTBTO noble gas stations and support laboratories. Appl Radiat Isot 89:176–185. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2014.02.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar