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The separation, identification and characterization of radioactive particles in topsoil

Faber, K. T. and Landingham, R. L. (1977) The separation, identification and characterization of radioactive particles in topsoil. Powder Technology, 16 (2). pp. 209-216. ISSN 0032-5910. doi:10.1016/0032-5910(77)87008-3.

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We have developed and used a method of isolating, identifying and characterizing low-level concentrations (in the parts per billion range) of radioactive debris in topsoil samples from Area 13 of the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. This method would be applicable in studies of high-density particles dispersed to such a degree that they are below normal detection levels. We used wet sieving and continuous centrifugal sedimentation in dense liquids to separate the desired particles, monitoring the radioactivity throughout the separation process. The particles were then characterized with the aid of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and analyzed in the SEM by X-ray fluorescence. Elements identified on these particles were as follows (in order of highest to lowest intensity): Si, Al, Fe, Nb, Sn, Ca, I, Ti, K, Cs, In, Zn and Pu.

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Faber, K. T.0000-0001-6585-2536
Additional Information:Copyright © 1977 Elsevier. (Received April 19, 1976; in revised form August 17, 1976). This report covers work performed in the summer of 1975 for Dr. Robert K. Schulz of the Soils and Plant Nutrition Department of the University of California at Berkeley. Invaluable technical assistance was provided by A. W. Casey, scanning electron microscopist, and by A. Biermann, C. Farrell, D. Lai, R. Lindahl and C. Slettevold, members of the Particle Characterization Group. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration under Contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA)W-7405-Eng-48
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140909-211212745
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Official Citation:K.T. Faber, R.L. Landingham, The separation, identification and characterization of radioactive particles in topsoil, Powder Technology, Volume 16, Issue 2, March–April 1977, Pages 209-216, ISSN 0032-5910, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49516
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Sep 2014 14:47
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:45

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