Age dating contamination datingsitesireland net

Although the age determination of plutonium is and has been a pillar of nuclear forensic investigations for many years, additional research in the field of plutonium age dating is still needed and leads to new insights as the present work shows: Plutonium is commonly dated with the help of the 241Pu/241Am chronometer using gamma spectrometry; in fewer cases the 240Pu/236U chronometer has been used.The age dating results of the 239Pu/235U chronometer and the 238Pu/234U chronometer are scarcely applied in addition to the 240Pu/236U chronometer, although their results can be obtained simultaneously from the same mass spectrometric experiments as the age dating result of latter.Desmond Clark (1979:7) observed that without radiocarbon dating "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation." And as Colin Renfrew (1973) aptly noted over 30 years ago, the "Radiocarbon Revolution" transformed how archaeologists could interpret the past and track cultural changes through a period in human history where we see among other things the massive migration of peoples settling virtually every major region of the world, the transition from hunting and gathering to more intensive forms of food production, and the rise of city-states.However, as with any dating technique there are limits to the kinds of things that can be satisfactorily dated, levels of precision and accuracy, age range constraints, and different levels of susceptibility to contamination.Radium isotopes in soils can be used to determine the age of oil and gas wastewater spills, research shows.

A trio of new age-dating methods developed at Duke University can now answer these questions.The reliability of the result can be tested when the results of different chronometers are compared.The 242Pu/238U chronometer is normally not evaluated at all due to its sensitivity to contamination with natural uranium.This apparent 'weakness' that renders the age dating results of the 242Pu/238U chronometer almost useless for nuclear forensic investigations, however turns out to be an advantage looked at from another perspective: the 242Pu/238U chronometer can be utilized as an indicator for uranium contamination of plutonium samples and even help to identify the nature of this contamination.To illustrate this the age dating results of all four Pu/U clocks mentioned above are discussed for one plutonium sample (NBS 946) that shows no signs of uranium contamination and for three additional plutonium samples.