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Correlation of Tritium Concentration in Rainwater with Cosmic Rays: Preliminary Results

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K. Stamoulis, K. G. Ioannides, A. Vlachogianni, c. A. Papachristodoulou
K. Stamoulis, K. G. Ioannides, A. Vlachogianni, c. A. Papachristodoulou


The Radiochronology Center has been established in 1999 as a member of the Horizontal Laboratories network of the University of Ioannina. Recently it has added to its activities the development of a tritium measurements laboratory as part of the Radiochronology Center. The laboratory is equipped with a super low level background liquid scintillation counter, which is capable to measure very low concentrations of tritium for applications in radioprotection, dating and hydrology.

For the aims of the present continuing study rainwater samples are collected monthly. Each sample is distilled and then it is passed through an electrolysis process to increase the tritium concentration. Five mL of the enriched sample are mixed with 15 mL of a scintillation cocktail, specially designed for tritium measurements and its beta activity is measured for 200 min. The LLD of tritium in the samples is estimated 3 Bq/L or 27 TU.

Our preliminary results show that, during the measuring period tritium concentration increased with time. The tritium values are correlated with the cosmic ray neutron flux data at ground level, available for Greece in the same period. The measured tritium concentrations in rainwater, which range from 36 ± 8 to 64 ± 8 TU, may be used for local hydrology studies.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12681/hnps.3348


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