Gamma spectrometry

  • A range of high-resolution gamma-spectrometers with planar and coaxial HPGe crystals

  • Cd(Zn)Te detectors operating at room temperatures for medium-resolution gamma spectrometry

  • NaI-based scintillator detectors

  • Low-background iron chambers for measuring small activities

Linear electron accelerator LINAC LPR-4

  • The linear electron accelerator of LINAC LPR-4 type (constructed by the Czechoslovak firm TESLA V.T.) was put into operation in 1983.

  • The accelerator produces pulsed electron radiation with an average energy of 4 MeV. The nominal pulse length can be set to 2.6 μs, 800 ns or - using a separate electrostatic deflection system - 80 ns. The repetition frequency of the electron pulses are selectable between 6.25 and 50 Hz, but single pulse can also be fired by an external trigger signal.

  • The accelerator is equipped with a computer controlled data acquisition system for pulse radiolysis experiments, enabling also reaction kinetics studies.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
The high resolution inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometer (HR ICP-SFMS, type: ELEMENT2, company: Thermo Electron Corporation) installed at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Energy Research is capable to analyze elemental concentrations and isotope ratios precisely and with high accuracy in different sample types. The main advantage of the instrument is the high sensitivity which assures analysis of 60-70 elements of the periodic table in pg-fg (10-12 – 10-15 g) concentration range. The ICP-MS laboratory has got an accreditation certificate from the Hungarian Accreditation Board since 05.05.2010. Working of laboratory complies with the criteria of MSZ EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard as testing laboratory with the registration number: NAT-1-1630/2010. Unique that, the sample preparation and instrumental laboratories are clean rooms (Class 100 000) and using high dilution it is possible to analyze radioactive and also nuclear materials. A laser ablation (LA) sample introduction unit belongs to the ICP-MS instrument. Using this unit fast, direct analysis (without sample preparation) of solid samples is available. Particularly, elemental and isotope ratios are determined in forensics studies using LA-ICP-MS technique. Typical sample types: various environmental samples (soil, plant, ground water, etc.), uranium bearing material (uranium ore, uranium-oxide pellets, etc.), confiscated nuclear materials, swipe samples for nuclear safeguards purposes, samples originated from nuclear reactors (corrosion particles, water from primary and secondary systems, sewage sludge, etc.), biological samples and geological and archeological samples in less amount (age dating).

Mössbauer laboratory
Mössbauer spectroscopy is based on the detection of the recoilless resonance-absorption of gamma rays originated from appropriate nuclear transitions.

  • The local feature at the Institute of Isotopes is the ability to perform in-situ measurements in our laboratory. I.e., samples can be treated and subsequently measured under different conditions, without exposing them to air. Thus, the actual oxidation and coordination states of the samples can be reserved and studied. This feature is particularly advantageous when studying (heterogeneous) catalysts.

  • Measurements and treatments can be performed in the 77 - 700 K temperature range in variuos ambient atmospheres , e.g. under vacuum (10-2 Pa) or in various reactant gases and in mixtures of them (most frequently hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon monixide, etc.). As a further extension, these gas streams can be saturated with vapours of volatile fluids, as well.

  • A second, so-called in-beam Mössbauer device is under realization. This innovative instument is being installed at the Neutron guide hall of the Budapest Research Reactor, and will be part of the EU MNI3 program, which makes it easily accessible for EU users. The in-beam technique greatly extends the number of useful Mössbauer nuclides (40K, 56Fe, 66Zn, Gd, Er, Dy, Yb, Hf, W), thus brodens the scope of structure analysis.

  • The instrument can be used on line, but during reactor shutdown, activated short-lived Mössbauer sources (141Pr, 127I, 129I, 181Ta, 182W) will also be utilized. During the on-line operation a beam of guided cold neutrons produce the Mössbauer transitions continuously.

  • The cold neutron flux, transmitted by a focused supermirror guide is measured to be about 109 n cm-2 s-1, producing a maximum source strength of approx. 1 GBq.

  • The measurement temperature can be in the range of 3-360 K, achieved with liquid helium or nitrogen cooling.

Neutron Coincidence Counting
Passive Neutron Coincidence Counting (PNCC) is a technique for determining (in combination with the knowledge of isotopic ratios) the mass of plutonium in unknown samples. PNCC is the most used NDA technique for Pu assay, being applied to a large variety of sample types: solid samples, liquid ones (less frequently), powder, metallic, pellets, fuel elements, waste drums, etc. Neutron coincidence counter, developed at the Radiation Safety Laboratory, for the characterisation of isotopic neutron sources with high neutron yield has the following characteristics:

  • The device has relatively low detection efficiency (between 5 and 12%)

  • It consists of 14 pieces of 3He detector tubes with independent electronic circuits.

  • The traditionally used shift register is replaced w ith a home-developed digital pulse train recorder

Photoelectron spectrometry
ES-300 photoelectron spectrometer is used forX-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV-photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). The apparatus is equipped with dual anode X-ray source (AlKa and MgKa), He (I) and He (II) UV source and Auger gun. Static or rastering argon ion guns with different energies are applied for sample cleaning. An in situ atmospheric pressure reaction chamber is attached to the apparatus for treatment of catalyst in reaction mixture or in various gases. The gas composition during measurements is monitored by quadrupole mass spectrometer. XAMSpci KRATOS instrument type XAMSpci is applied for more sophisticated high performance XPS measurements. This XPS is equipped with two X-ray sources, one is the conventional dual anode system and the other is equipped with a monochromator. The monochromatic X-ray has a much narrower energy range; thus satellite and EEL peaks can be reduced. The machine is equipped with flood gun for charge neutralization, XYZ manipulator and a rastering minibeam system for sample cleaning. An atmospheric reaction chamber is attached for in situ catalytic works. working under UHV condition. The main chamber includes AES and LEED optics, XYZ heatable manipulator, argon ion gun, QMS, transfer capsule and various sample manipulator rods.

Prompt-gamma activation analysis facility
Prompt-gamma activation analysis (PGAA, or PGNAA) is a nuclear analytical technique for non-destructive determination of elemental and isotopic compositions.The sample, that can be solid, powdered, liquid or even gaseous, is irradiated in a neutron beam and the gamma-rays from the radiative capture are detected. The tedious task of the sample preparation can be in most cases completely neglected. Contrary to the conventional neutron activation analysis (NAA), the irradiation and the detection is simultaneous, thus instant results can be obtained. The sample can be re-used already after a few hours of cooling. In principle, all stable elements can be analyzed, without any prior information on the analyte. However, the detection limits of the elements differ by many orders of magnitude. Constituents with high sensitivity (e.g. B, Cd, Hg, Sm, Gd) can be quantified at our facility even at the level of 0.01 ppm, while others with small neutron capture cross-sections (e.g. Be, C, O) can be determined only as major components. For a few elements, isotope-ratio determination is also feasible. The energies and intensities of the peaks are independent of the chemical state of the material; hence the analytical result is free of matrix-effects. As both neutrons and gamma-rays are highly penetrating, the average composition of the entire illuminated volume is obtained. The PGAA Experimental Station at the Budapest Research Reactor is in operation for a decade. Geological, archeological, environmental samples, artifacts, minerals, metals, glasses, catalysts, ceramics are routinely analyzed, as well as samples from the industry. Measurements for material science and nuclear technology are also regularly carried out. In combination with neutronradiography and -tomography local element analysis, while in PGAI mode, element mapping can be achieved.

Neutron activation analysis
NAA offers mostly non-destructive, multielement routine analysis needed in such areas as environmental monitoring, geochemistry, medicine and technological processes. It has negligible matrix effect, excellent selectivity and high sensitivity. Besides more than 40 vertical channels operated by the reactor staff, a pneumatic sample transfer system is also available. The “rabbit” system operates with compressed air. Capsules made of polyethylene. The whole system is PC-controlled. Small samples and monitors are packed in 10 mm height x 8 mm dia. polyethylene vials in which less than 0.5 % flux inhomogenity can be expected during irradiation. Subcadmium Flux: 6.0×1013, f=36, fast flux: 1.1×1012, alpha=0.033, temperature= 57°C (all indicative values)

Static and dynamic neutron radiography
The dynamic radiography station is located at the thermal channel No. 2 of the Budapest Research Reactor „A” In the conventional arrangement:

  • Complex pin-hole type collimator for neutron and gamma radiation, collimation ratio L/D = 170

  • Neutron flux at the object position: 108 n cm-2 sec-1, with Cd and In filter: 6×106 n cm-2 sec-1

  • Gamma intensity: ~ 8,5 Gy/h

  • X-ray energy: 50-300 keV; 5 mA

  • Variable beam diameter, with a maximum of 150 mm at the object position. Maximum surface for investigation: 700×1000 mm2, maximum weight 250 kg
  • „B” In the extended inspection area:
  • Beam diameter up to 185 mm, Maximum surface: 9750×700 mm2, Maximum weight: 200 kg

  • Detection: low-light-level TV camera, double cooled CCD camera (756 x 580 pixel), 10 bit, Conventional film, Photo-luminescent Imaging Plates

JEOL JSM-5600LV electron microscope

  • The JEOL JSM-5600LV type electron microscope was put into operation in 1998.

  • This microscope is used for observation of samples in a broad magnification range up to 300000. The special LV (low vacuum) mode allows nonconductive specimens, (especially biological samples) to be observed in their native state.

  • The images can be stored on conventional photographic film or in digital form.

  • The elemental analysis of the specimen is also possible using the attached energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) and an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) unit.

X-ray fluorescence laboratory
Trace elemental composition of environmental and biological samples can be measured in the X-ray fluorescence laboratory of the Environmental Analysis Group. The measurement system is based on a standard diffraction X-ray tube, having three analytical setups.

  • Second targeted X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) is suitable for analysis of solid bulk samples (pellets, powders, thin samples).

  • Liquid samples and aerosol samples can be measured by total reflexion X-ray fluorescence analysis (TXRF).

  • Micro X-ray fluorescence analysis is suitable for two or three dimensional elemental mapping of the samples.

The research group has experiences in trace component detection in aerosol, sediment and water samples. They also studied pollution deposition in biological samples, and lately elemental mapping of mineral samples.

Air quality monitoring instrumentation
The Environmental Analysis Group works an air quality monitoring station that was developed in a acclimatized container at the KFKI campus. In the station an ozone monitor, aerosol monitors and meteorological sensors are operated. The aerosol monitors provide concentration data regarding the mass (PM10 or PM2,5), particle number, and black carbon (BC) content. Some instruments are place in the city of Pask where air quality has been monitored over 2 years.