The Radiocarbon Dating Laboratories of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) has previously published radiocarbon dates under the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS) name. ORINS has recently changed its name to ORAU and its laboratories and programs have accordingly assumed this new name. The ORINS prefix, which previously designated the published radiocarbon dates of this laboratory, will be continued to minimize confusion in the literature.
The radiocarbon dating program carried out at this laboratory is primarily concerned with assisting the ORAU Special Training Program in its teaching and research activities. Radiocarbon dates which appear in this paper represent samples submitted from research groups associated with the 41 universities which make up ORAU and by other college and university personnel who do not have access to radiocarbon dating facilities.
Carbon samples are chemically synthesized to liquid benzene and their C14 activity determined by liquid scintillation spectroscopy. Samples are first converted to lithium carbide and then to acetylene gas as described by Barker (1953). The acetylene is catalytically trimerized to benzene by a method described by Noakes et al. (1965). Chemical yields for the synthesized benzene routinely approach 90% with no evidence of chemical impurities or carbon isotope fractionation occurring in the chemistry.
A Packard Tricarb Model 314 D.C. liquid scintillation spectrometer, which has been modified for low level counting, is used to count the benzene samples. Counting efficiency is 50% when operating at a voltage of 800 with discriminator setting of 100-800-1000. Background count rate is 1.7 c/m with a 5 cc benzene sample. Shielding consists of 4 in. of lead with coincidence and anticoincidence systems.
The modern reference standard is 0.95% activity of NBS oxalic acid standard which is 6.82 c/m/g carbon. Ages are calculated on a C14 half-life of 5570 yr as suggested by Godwin (1962). The statistics quoted are compiled as one standard deviation (1σ) of the uncertainty involved in counting background, standard, and sample.