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Title: California GAMA Special Study. Development of a Capability for the Analysis of Krypton-85 in Groundwater Samples

A capability for the analysis of krypton-85 (85Kr) in groundwater samples was developed at LLNL. Samples are collected by extracting gas from 2000-4000 L of groundwater at the well, yielding approximately 0.2 cm3 STP krypton. Sample collection takes 1 to 4 hours. Krypton is purified in the laboratory using a combination of molecular sieve and activated charcoal traps, and transferred to a liquid scintillation vial. The 85Kr activity is measured by liquid scintillation on a Quantulus 1220 liquid scintillation counter from PerkinElmer. The detection limit for a typical 0.2 cm3Kr sample size is 11% of the present day activity in air, corresponding to the decay corrected activity in air in 1987. The typical measurement uncertainty is below 10% for recently recharged samples. Six groundwater samples were collected, purified and counted. 85Kr was not detected in any of the samples counted at LLNL. 85Kr was detected by the low level counting laboratory of Bern University in all samples between 1.5 and 6.6 decays per minute per cm3 krypton, corresponding to decay corrected activities in air between 1971 and 1985. The new capability is an excellent complement to tritium-helium, expanding the existing suite of age dating tools available to the GAMA programmore » (35S, 3H/3He, 14C and radiogenic helium). 85Kr can replace 3H/3He in settings where 3H/3He ages are impossible to determine (for example where terrigenic helium overwhelms tritiogenic helium) and provides additional insight into travel time distributions in complex mixed groundwater systems.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. California State Univ. (CalState), Long Beach, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1252619
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR--665865
TRN: US1601364
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; KRYPTON 85; GROUND WATER; LIQUID SCINTILLATION DETECTORS; LOW LEVEL COUNTING; AGE ESTIMATION; GROUNDWATER RECHARGE; SENSITIVITY; RADIOMETRIC ANALYSIS