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Gamma Analysis of Chagan “Atomsite” » Gamma spectrum of Lake Chagan atomsite, 0-400 keV

Gamma spectrum of Lake Chagan atomsite, 0-400 keV

The low-energy end of the spectrum contains gamma peaks corresponding to Am-241, Ba-133, and Ho-166m. The Am-241 is a good indication of the presence of plutonium, since it is formed by neutron capture on Pu-239 in the explosion and chemically behaves in a similar way in the environment. Plutonium itself is difficult to detect by gamma spectroscopy in this kind of high-activity sample. Relatively little Am-241 (and by extension plutonium) are in this sample compared to American “Trinitite”. Ba-133 and Ho-166m are neutron activation products. Ba-133 is much more concentrated in Trinitite owing to barium’s presence in that bomb’s explosives. Here, it is probably formed from natural concentrations of barium in the crustal rock. All other unlabeled peaks are due to the four major nuclides mentioned earlier.


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