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A Treatise on the Measurement of Radioactive Argon in the Atmosphere.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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A study was carried out to determine the feasibility of using Ar37 andor Ar39 activity measurements from remote atmospheric samples for monitoring the possible venting of radionuclides from underground nuclear explosions. The study was broken into two parts 1 a study of the processes for extracting and purifying argon from the remote air samples, and 2 an investigation of the use of mass spectrometry and low-level counting techniques for measuring Ar37 and Ar39 in the purified argon samples. Argon can be extracted from air using a combination of gas-solid chemical reactions and low-temperature gas chromatography. It was found that mass spectrometry can-not be used to measure Ar39 in the atmosphere. At present, low-level internal gas proportional counting is the only feasible means for measuring atmospheric levels of Ar37 and Ar39. It is concluded that it is not currently feasible to use Ar37 or Ar39 measurements for monitoring purposes. Further studies are needed on radioargon production sources and release rates into the atmosphere. Theses
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