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Plutonium metal is a very unusual element, exhibiting six allotropes at ambient pressure, between room temperature and its melting point, a complicated phase diagram, and a complex electronic structure. Many phases of plutonium metal are unstable with changes in temperature, pressure, chemical additions, or time. This strongly affects structure and properties, and becomes of high importance, particularly when considering effects on structural integrity over long periods of time . This paper presents a time-dependent neutron total scattering study of the local and average structure of naturally aging δ-phase 239Pu-Ga alloys, together with preliminary results on neutron tomography characterization.
The accuracy of AMS radiocarbon determinations on very small samples has been tested by measuring a suite of microgram-sized samples of a known-age material. The total measurement precision for the smallest sample (50μg) was found to be ± 3% and the precision improved with larger sample size. The accuracies of the measurements were found to be within the measurement precisions.
14C measurements are reported for fractionated soil organic matter from a genetic soil sequence which was sampled several times during the period of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. Fractionation of the soils by density followed by acid hydrolysis was successful in separating the organic matter into components with mean residence times for carbon ranging from 5 to 20 years (low density fraction) to several thousand years (residue after acid hydrolysis). Comparison of the infiltration of bomb 14C into the vertical soil profile with the distribution of 137Cs, gives clues as to the mechanism (most probably dissolved transport) for importing carbon into deeper soil layers.
We report on the present status of the Lawrence Livermore AMS spectrometer, including sample throughput and progress towards routine 1% measurement capability for 14C, first results on other isotopes and experience with a multisample high-intensity ion source.
We report here the first radiocarbon dating of blood residues on prehistoric stone tools. The residues found on two stone artifacts were subjected to various exploratory biochemical techniques to identify the species from which they were derived and to separate a suitable sample for dating by accelerator mass spectrometry. Although these techniques need much further development and detailed testing, the ages obtained in this first study were consistent with other data, indicating that the concept is viable. For the first time, the time of use of stone tools has been found directly, rather than by stratigraphic or other archaeologic inferential techniques.
A re-evaluation of the Longin collagen-extraction method shows that a lower reflux temperature reduces degradation of protein (“collagen”) remnants. This allows additional purification through ultrafiltration to isolate the >30kDalton fraction of the reflux product.
The levels and sources of the measurement background in an AMS 14C dating system have been studied in detail. The relative contributions to the total background from combustion, graphitization, storage, handling, and from the accelerator were determined by measuring the C concentrations in samples of anthracite coal ranging in size from 15μg to 20mg. The results show that, for the present system, the uncertainty in the background is greater than that due to measurement precision alone for very old or for very small samples. While samples containing 100μg of carbon can yield useful 14C dates throughout the Holocene, 200 to 500μg are required for dating late Pleistocene materials. With the identification of the procedures that introduce contamination, the level and uncertainty of the total system background should both be reducible to the point that 100μg of carbon would be sufficient for dating most materials.
We present a survey of carbon beam yields from 20 simple carbon compounds using a caesium sputter source and the McMaster University tandem accelerator. The carbon yield was measured as a 35MeV 12C4+ beam. We found that the beam intensities could be related to a grouping of the carbides according to the chemical bonding of the compounds. The usefulness of the compounds for accelerator 14C dating was further related to their preparation chemistries. Strontium carbide was the equal of graphite in negative carbon ion beam production and aluminum carbide was found to be a good candidate for further tests because of its good sputter yield and preparation chemistry. Charcoal was also tested with varying amounts of silver added as a heat conduction aid.
A sample with a 14C concentration estimated to be greater than 30,000 Modern was inadvertently graphitized and measured in an AMS system. No measurable contamination of the cesium sputter ion source was observed. Simple cleaning procedures removed the contamination from the sample preparation system, with the exception of the reaction vessel in which the sample was graphitized. Sample cross-contamination factors were estimated for all of the preparation and measurement procedures.
Radiocarbon dates from sediment core samples are usually obtained on the whole organic carbon portion in order to use as little of the valuable sediment as possible. Such measurements may not result in an accurate chronology of the sediment because the material may include carbon from different reservoirs at the time of deposition. The development of AMS techniques for dating ultra-small (20–500μg) carbon samples permits dating various components of cored sediments. We give examples of physical and chemical fractions of sediments which illustrate the large differences in ages obtainable from materials at the same sediment depth. The dating of all or several of these fractions demands more complex interpretations than just the derivation of a sedimentation rate from whole organic carbon dates.
Using Δ14C observations to infer the local concentration excess of CO2 due to the burning of fossil fuels (ΔFFCO2) is a promising technique to monitor anthropogenic CO2 emissions. A recent study showed that 14CO2 emissions from the nuclear industry can significantly alter the local atmospheric 14CO2 concentration and thus mask the Δ14C depletion due to ΔFFCO2. In this study, we investigate the relevance of this effect for the vicinity of Toronto, Canada, a hot spot of anthropogenic 14CO2 emissions. Comparing the measured emissions from local power plants to a global emission inventory highlighted significant deviations on interannual timescales. Although the previously assumed emission factor of 1.6 TBq(GWa)-1 agrees with the observed long-term average for all CANDU reactors of 1.50 ± 0.18 TBq(GWa)-1. This power-based parameterization neglects the different emission ratios for individual reactors, which range from 3.4 ± 0.82 to 0.65 ± 0.09 TBq(GWa)-1. This causes a mean difference of-14% in 14CO2 concentrations in our simulations at our observational site in Egbert, Canada. On an annual time basis, this additional 14CO2 masks the equivalent of 27–82% of the total annual FFCO2 offset. A pseudo-data experiment suggests that the interannual variability in the masked fraction may cause spurious trends in the ΔFFCO2 estimates of the order of 30% from 2006–2010. In addition, a comparison of the modeled Δ14C levels with our observational time series from 2008–2010 underlines that incorporating the best available 14CO2 emissions significantly increases the agreement. There were also short periods with significant observed Δ14C offsets, which were found to be linked with maintenance periods conducted on these nuclear reactors.
Indonesia has reported the most human infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus worldwide. We implemented enhanced surveillance in four outpatient clinics and six hospitals for HPAI H5N1 and seasonal influenza viruses in East Jakarta district to assess the public health impact of influenza in Indonesia. Epidemiological and clinical data were collected from outpatients with influenza-like illness (ILI) and hospitalized patients with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI); respiratory specimens were obtained for influenza testing by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. During October 2011–September 2012, 1131/3278 specimens from ILI cases (34·5%) and 276/1787 specimens from SARI cases (15·4%) tested positive for seasonal influenza viruses. The prevalence of influenza virus infections was highest during December–May and the proportion testing positive was 76% for ILI and 36% for SARI during their respective weeks of peak activity. No HPAI H5N1 virus infections were identified, including hundreds of ILI and SARI patients with recent poultry exposures, whereas seasonal influenza was an important contributor to acute respiratory disease in East Jakarta. Overall, 668 (47%) of influenza viruses were influenza B, 384 (27%) were A(H1N1)pdm09, and 359 (25%) were H3. While additional data over multiple years are needed, our findings suggest that seasonal influenza prevention efforts, including influenza vaccination, should target the months preceding the rainy season.
A complex cerium bearing oxide, Gd2Ce2O7 was synthesized in order to simulate Pu in a fluorite derivative oxide. X-ray diffraction (XRD) data was collected using a lab diffractometer at room temperature and analyzed by Rietveld refinement method using the xnd program. The diffraction pattern obtained from the material could be indexed as a C-type cubic bixbyite crystal structure however several peaks showed peak broadening and could not be accounted for within the single-phase bixbyite model. A full pattern refinement, assuming a possible existence of short order disordered bixbyite regions within an average disordered fluorite phase gave a good fit with the experimental data, providing an estimate for correlation length of those bixbyite regions. Transmission electron microscopy confirms the existence of these correlated domains of disordered bixbyite type phase inside a defect fluorite lattice. Understanding the extent of these domains as a function of composition and the thermal history of the samples may have a profound effect on our understanding of miscibility gaps in Re2O3-CeO2 phase diagrams. These effects could be eventually exploited to design materials with increased radiation resistance, a desired feature for oxide matrices where actinides can be safely disposed.
Mining is known to be a major source of metal contamination for fluvial systems worldwide. Monitoring and understanding the effects on downstream water and sediment quality is essential for its management and to mitigate against detrimental environmental impacts. This study aimed to examine the effects of the small-scale, abandoned, hydraulic Black Creek gold mine on the geochemical content of fine (<63 μm) stream bed and floodplain sediment in the Horsefly watershed (British Columbia, Canada), which is a part of the Quesnel River basin. Concentrations of As, Cd, Se and Zn were determined by aqua regia digestion and the modified BCR (European Community Bureau of Reference) sequential extraction procedure followed by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy or inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Age-depth models for the floodplain cores were constructed using excess Pb-210 and Cs-137 activity concentration profiles. The results show that the mine caused local As contamination of the Horsefly River floodplain sediment during the first years of operation, but at present the contamination is mainly contained in the Black Creek. Present-day and recent concentrations of Cd, Se and Zn in the Horsefly River are elevated and this is probably derived from other upstream mining activities. The spatial and temporal changes in heavymetal concentrations suggest a slight, but not particularly widespread, mining effect on the finesediment geochemistry in the Horsefly River system.
In Chile, while dog rabies has decreased markedly over the last 30 years, bat rabies is still reported frequently. In order to shed new light on the spatiotemporal trends of these reports, we analysed active and passive data from years 1985 and 2012, which included 61 076 samples from 289 counties of Chile. We found that from 1994 to 2012, more than 15 000 bat samples were submitted for diagnostics through passive surveillance, 9·5% of which tested positive for rabies. By contrast, the prevalence of infection was only ~0·4% among the nearly 12 000 bat samples submitted through active surveillance. We found that the prevalence of dog rabies dropped steadily over the same period, with just a single confirmed case since 1998. None of the 928 samples from wild animals, other than bats, were positive for rabies. Although there has been only one confirmed case of human rabies in Chile since 1985, and a single confirmed case in a dog since 1998, bats remain a reservoir for rabies viruses. While active surveillance indicates that rabies prevalence is low in bat colonies, the high proportion of positive bats submitted through passive surveillance is a concern. To prevent human rabies, local public health agencies should increase research on the basic ecology of bats and the role of stray dogs and cats as potential rabies amplifiers.
We report the first successful application of corona charging noncontact C-V and I-V metrology to interface and dielectric characterization of high-k/III-V structures. The metrology, which has been commonly used in Si IC manufacturing, uses incremental corona charge dosing, ΔQC, on the dielectric surface, and the measurement of surface voltage response, ΔVS, using a Kelvin-probe. Its application to In0.53Ga0.47As with a high-k stack required modifications related to the effects of dielectric trap induced voltage transients. The developed Corona Charge-Kelvin Probe Metrology adopted strictly differential measurements using ΔQC and ΔV, and corresponding differential capacitance rather than measurements based on total global charge, Q, and voltage, V, values.
Electrical characterization data including interface trap density, electrical oxide thickness, and dielectric leakage are presented for a sample containing an In0.53 Ga0.47 As channel overlaid with a bilayer (2nm Al2O3/5nm HfO2) dielectric stack that is considered to be very promising for application in performance NFETs with high-mobility channels.
This study examined recent trends in type-specific HPV infection rates in women referred for HPV typing as part of cervical cancer screening in the United States. HPV analyses were performed from March 2004 to March 2011. Women were aged 21–65 years at testing. The 18 most prevalent HPV types were analysed. Type-specific HPV infection rates were estimated in 3-month blocks. Lowess smoothing was used to examine time trends in infection rates for each HPV type, both combined, and separated by age group (younger women 21–30 years, older women 31–64 years). A total of 220914 women were included in the final analysis. The number of HPV tests performed on the younger age group increased, with the number of HPV infections and multiple type HPV infections decreasing. When separated by HPV type-specific analysis, the majority of HPV infection rates decreased; however, HPV types 61 and 83 increased. When analysing the older age group, there was a marked increase of the number of HPV tests. Overall, the rates of any HPV infection, as well as multiple type infections, were lower compared to the younger age group. The change in type-specific HPV rates in the older age group was minimal, with many rates remaining the same. In this population of women, overall rates of HPV infection decreased, while the number of HPV tests increased. Younger women had a more marked decrease in HPV infection rates, while for older women type-specific HPV infection rates appear consistent.
Ho2O3-TiO2 based metal-insulator-metal capacitors were grown by ALD, using Ho(thd)3, Ti(OCH(CH3)2)4 and ozone as precursors. The thicknesses of the films were in the range of 7.7 to 25 nm. Some of the films were post-deposited annealed in order to study the treatment effects. The capacitors were electrically characterized. Leakage current decreases as the amount of holmium increased in the films. Resistive switching behavior was obtained in the samples where the leakage current was low. This effect was also observed in Ho2O3 films, where no titanium was present in the films.