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A feasibility study on the determination of 90Sr food-chain transfer using stable strontium as a surrogate and neutron activation analysis

Brennan, C., Haas, D., Landsberger, S., Artnak, E., Bátor, G., Bednár, A., Kovács, T.
Journal of environmental radioactivity 2019 v.208-209 pp. 105988
feasibility studies, food chain transfer, gamma radiation, neutron activation analysis, pastures, processing chemistry, radioactivity, radionuclides, spectroscopy, strontium, Hungary
We evaluated the applicability of neutron activation analysis for investigating the potential mobility of 90Sr in a pasture area in Hungary. To measure strontium concentrations, we made use of the 84Sr(n,γ)85Sr radiative capture reaction using neutron activation analysis and performed gamma spectroscopy using Compton-suppression techniques on the resulting 514.0 keV gamma ray. Our values for soil-to-plant transfer factors value of 1.6 (2.2) kg kg−1 were in agreement with recommended values from the ICRP and IAEA, as well as similar studies performed by independent researchers. Our values for plant-to-animal transfer coefficients and concentration ratios varied from suggested values by several orders of magnitude to agreement with other values. Based on our results the utilized transfer of stable strontium could not be regarded as a convenient substitute to help clarify the long-term transfer of radioactive strontium in the environment, because short term dosing was applied. Neutron activation analysis provides a unique niche as a technique with very little chemical processing and short sample analysis times.