KJM5911 Lab Exercise 2 - Radionuclide Generators and Half Life

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Learning Goals

  • Understand mother-daughter relations and radioactive equilibrium
  • Understand how a radio-nuclide generator works and how it is used
  • Understand how radioactivity is "growing in"
  • Separate uranium and thorium using a cation-exchanger
  • Training in handling radioactive material and safety procedures
  • Understand the principle of neutron activation
  • Deconvolute a decay curve with two components


Experimental Procedure

Safety Aspects

  • Chemical safety - nothing particulary dangerous, 2-M HCl and 0.1-M AgNO3 should of course be handled according to normal safety precations. DOWEX residues and waste should be collected and handled according to normal procedures.
  • Rad. safety - very small amounts of uranyl nitrate is used, so there is no big healt concern with respect to this source. However, the Pu/Be source is quite strong (about 107 n/s) and should only be handled by your supervisor. Always keep as far away as possible from this source.
  • Waste handling. All radioactive waste should be collected, logged and deposited in the dedicated rad. waste accumulation are. Remember to collect the DOWEX from the ion-exchange collumns in separate containers as it is contaminated with 24-day 234Th (will be none-radioactive after one year).