Tag Archives: measure

Basic Isotope Identification (Gamma Spectroscopy)

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Please read below (Resource links, etc)

Copyright:
All materials in this video are copyright of me. I created them all. The screen captures of the software are from Spectrum Techniques.

My Equipment:

Spectrometer: UCS30 – http://www.spectrumtechniques.com/spec_systems.htm
Sources: Cs137 – http://www.spectrumtechniques.com/disc&laminated_sources.htm
Lead: rotometals.com

Gamma Energy Resources:

http://ie.lbl.gov/decay.html
http://ie.lbl.gov/toi/radSearch.asp
http://simplynuclear.com/index.php?title=Common_Gamma_Energy

Thorium Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Actinium 228 13 keV 0.38
Thorium 232 *63.81 keV 0.00267
Lead 212 *77.11 keV 0.175
Thorium 228 84.37 keV 0.01266
Thorium 228 131.61 keV 0.001355
Thorium 228 166.41 keV 0.001075
Thorium 228 215.99 keV 0.00263
Lead 212 238.63 keV 0.433
Actinium 228 *338.32 keV 0.113
Thallium 208 510.77 keV 0.226
Thallium 208 *583.19 keV 0.845
Bismuth 212 727.33 keV 0.0658
Actinium 228 911.21 keV 0.266
Actinium 228 968.97 keV 0.162

Uranium Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Uranium 238 13 keV 0.08
Uranium 235 19.59 keV 0.61
Lead 210 46.54 keV 0.0425
Lead 214 77.11 keV 0.099
Thorium 234 92.38 keV 0.028
Thorium 234 92.8 keV 0.028
Uranium 235 143.76 keV 0.1096
Uranium 235 185.71 keV 0.572
Radium 226 *186.1 keV 0.35
Thorium 227 235.97 keV 0.123
Lead 214 *241.98 keV 0.075
Lead 214 *295.21 keV 0.185
Lead 214 *351.92 keV 0.358
Bismuth 211 404.85 keV 0.0378
Bismuth 214 *609.31 keV 0.448
Bismuth 214 768.36 keV 0.048
Protactinium 234m 1001.03 keV 0.00370

Potassium 40 Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Potassium 40 *1461 keV 0.1067

Depleted Uranium Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Thorium 234 13.3 keV 0.045
Thorium 234 *63.29 keV 0.048
Thorium 234 *92.38 keV 0.028
Thorium 234 *92.8 keV 0.028
Uranium 235 19.59 keV 0.61
Uranium 235 *143.76 keV 0.1096
Uranium 235 185.71 keV 0.572
Protactinium 234m 1001.03 keV 0.00370

Coronal Mass Ejection – Detection

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On July 14, 2012 at 1424 EDT (1824 UTC, and 2:24PM local time) I believe that I detected a Coronal Mass Ejection, herein CME, an event where the sun bursts a massive amount of charged particles into space. These events are akin to solar flares, though not actually the same thing. The CME was detected by various organizations around the world and easily seen at SpaceWeather.com. At exatly 1824 UTC my detection units both noted a spike in high energy photon readings (gamma or X-ray from 10keV to 5 MeV).

Methods:

The Nekonome II Gamma Spectrometer, using a Radiation Sensors 6S6P1.5VD NaI(Tl) scintillation detector and a UCS30 MCA was run in multi-channel scaling mode, allowing for a gross count of detected photons for 60 second periods. The results were displayed as an x/y graph with the vertical y axis representing counts and the x axis representing time in increments of 60 seconds. A pancake Geiger Meuller detect with an LND7317 tube and an SE International Geiger counter was placed over other scintillation crystal. As a result, any photon radiation from the sun which impacted the crystal must also pass through the Geiger tube. Both units ran in concert for about an hour and the results were examined.

Coronal Mass Ejection

Coronal Mass Ejection

Results:

Both the output from Nekonome II and Geiger Graph software running on RadiationNetwork.com displayed a larger peak at 1824 UTC. This peak coincided with data from SpaceWeather.com indicating the strike of a CME at that same time. The most likely cause for the detection was a localized particle shower, yet the heavy lead shielding around the crystal detection ensure the energy detected must be above 500 keV and is more than likely above 1 MeV in energy. Without a high range gamma spectrometer, there is not conclusive proof of this find, but very probable data.

From Geiger Graph and the Geiger counter
68 7/14/12 02:21 PM 43 2,262 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
69 7/14/12 02:22 PM 40 2,302 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
70 7/14/12 02:23 PM 31 2,333 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
71 7/14/12 02:24 PM 59 2,392 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59 < - Note the elevated reading.
72 7/14/12 02:25 PM 35 2,427 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
73 7/14/12 02:26 PM 36 2,463 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
74 7/14/12 02:27 PM 40 2,503 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59

From Nekonome II (UCS30)
60: 130 | 130 | 126 | 145 | 114 | 150 | 128 | 145 | 139 | 142 |
70: 169 | 129 | 115 | 127 | 150 | 153 | 140 | 145 | 146 | 150 | < - Note the elevated reading at minute 70 (minute 70 is 1824 UTC)
80: 134 | 161 | 125 | 137 | 127 | 135 | 132 | 158 | 139 | 128 |

Nekonome II:
_______________________________________________________________
mean 138.953
median 139. (8 occurrences)
s.d. 12.0346
minimum 109. (element 24)
maximum 169. (element 70)
Total 17,786

169 – 138.953 = 30.047 / 12.0346 = 2.5 StdDiv

Geiger Graph:
_______________________________________________________________
mean 34.0816
median 34. (10 occurrences)
s.d. 5.55697
minimum 21. (element 56)
maximum 59. (element 38)
Total 3340

59 – 34.0816 = 24.9184 / 5.55697 = 4.5 StdDiv

Cesium 137 Detected in my Rain! (Radioactive Rain Detected)

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As you all know, I have always maintained that there is Fukushima fallout in the rain… but that the levels (even if they are unsafe) are too low for a Geiger counter to detect.

My sensitive Gamma Spectrometer has now (I believe) detected Cs137 in a rain water collection bucket which concentrates, or so it seems, the Cs137.

Most of the radiation detected by Geiger counters from rain is from Radon Washout, a processes whereby radon in the air (decays from natural uranium around the world) is “washed” out and falls to the ground in the rain. The decay chain is sudden and very quick, providing a few hours of potent readings before falling to background.

Inspector (regular or EXP) Sensitivity to Iodine 125:

0.02 µCi = 740Bq = 44,400Bq/60seconds
(At contact for I-125)

http://seintl.com/products/inspectorplusEXP.html

Iodine -125 Electron Capture
Gamma – 35.49 keV 6.60 %
X-Ray – 27.47 keV 75.7 %

http://ie.lbl.gov/toi/nuclide.asp?iZA=530125

Best energy range for detection by LND7317 probe:
10 keV = 100 keV (max)

The range where detector efficency falls rapidly (Cs137 is also in this range):
100 keV = 1000 keV (declining)

http://seintl.com/images/InspEnResponseC137_large.jpg

A great place to find data on isotopes:
http://ie.lbl.gov/toi/

*** Update! ****

I have calculated the activity:

My original calibrated Cs137 source (cal. vs. NIST tracible source, source ID SRS:80899-854, at 95% accuracy) was 3737 Bq.

I accounted for decay of the source:
3737*e^-((ln(2)/10979)*173) = 3696.4059560683608390980241545539265887454856828520474 Bq
=3696 Bq

For an ROI of the same size for both calibrated sample and rain water sample, I ran tests and determined counts per second:

Calibrated Source 91.2633 c/s
Rain Water Sample: 0.01439814814814814814814814814815 c/s

Now, I divided the detected calibrated sample c/s into the expected c/s to determine ratio of emission vs detection for the energies around 661.66 keV. (3696Bq * 0.851 [intensity for gamma from Ba137m])/2 = 1572.648. The division by two is because I entirely detected one side of the thin sample disk. so… 91.2633 / 1572.648 = 0.05803161292291727074335769987944

My detector is only about 5.8% efficient for such energies. (lower than my 12% “ball park by half”)

Now, merely divide the counted detection from rain by the efficiency and you have about the correct result.
(311counts/21600) /0.05803142216185694446564011781403 =

=0.01439814814814814814814814814815 / 0.05803142216185694446564011781403 = 0.24810951742643665986093914169915

Or 0.248 Bq/liter

(that is zero point two four eight Becquerels per liter)

Thoughts?

Nuclear Isotope Identification – Why Is something Radioactive?

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Radioactive materials are easy to detect with a Geiger counter, but cannot be identified with a Geiger counter. You need an isotope detector.

One of the most widely used isotope detectors is a Gamma Scintillation Spectrometer. In this video I explain how Gamma Spectrometers work. I also show you actual real-time capture of gamma spectra from several sources:
Cs-137
Cs-134
Eu-152
Am-241
Np-237
And Natural Uranium & progeny.

Please visit my website for a short explanation of the basics of radiation!

What is Radiation?

Spectrum Techniques (Where I get my sources and Spectrometry equipment)
http://SpectrumTechniques.com/ucs30_system.htm

GeigerCounters.com (Where I get my Geiger counters)
http://GeigerCounters.com

Radioactive Rain – April 21, 2012, Virginia

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I tested my rain again and found radon progeny once more.

It should be somewhat obvious by now, given the occurring, what the source of all of this.