Beams Document 8681-v1

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Development of 129I AMS at the NSL for Measurements of the Great Lakes Region

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Rob Ainsworth
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Rob Ainsworth
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18 Sep 2020, 08:28
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18 Sep 2020, 08:28
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18 Sep 2020, 08:28
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The radionuclide 129I, with a half-life of 15.7 x 106 years, is produced naturally on Earth in the atmosphere through cosmic-ray-induced reactions on xenon isotopes, as well as through spontaneous fission of terrestrial uranium. These contributions to the 129I content on Earth pale in comparison, however, to the amount that has been released by spent nuclear fuel reprocessing centers, having contributed approximately 60 times the natural content. 129I can move very efficiently through the environment, and because of its "point-like" releases from reprocessing centers, 129I has the potential to be a powerful environmental tracer. For this capability to be realized, the 129I distribution throughout the environment needs to be established - previous measurements have primarily focused on nuclear facilities and nuclear disaster sites, leaving a large area of the globe unmeasured. This inspired the Collon group of the Nuclear Science Laboratory (NSL) of the University of Notre Dame to contribute data on 129I levels, specifically in the Great Lakes region. Water samples were collected from Lake Michigan and rivers throughout Michigan and analyzed for their 129I content through the technique of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for separation from the primary interference, 127I, using the time-of-flight technique. The development of 129I AMS at the NSL, results of the water survey, and future work on 129I AMS and other AMS projects at the NSL will be discussed.
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