• Dating of Total Soil Organic Matter Used in Kurgan Studies

      Molnár, M.; Joó, K.; Barczi, A.; Szánto, Z.; Futó, I.; Palcsu, L.; Rinyu, L. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2004-01-01)
      We investigated Csipo-halom, one of the kurgans that served as a burial place in the Hortobágy area of the Hungarian Great Plain. For pedological description and other studies of the protected mound and its surroundings, only a few monitoring drillings were permitted to get soil samples. On the basis of morphological and visual studies, the structure and layers of the mound were reconstructed. The Laboratory of Environmental Studies of the Institute of Nuclear Research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (INR/HAS) performed radiocarbon measurements of soil samples, applying a bulk combustion pretreatment method. The measured 14C ages of soil samples from reference points, such as the top layer of the mound, the center of mound body, the base layer of the mound, the near surroundings, and the distant surroundings, are in good agreement with the preliminary archaeological concept for this field and give substantial information about the rate of soil generation processes in this area.
    • Development of an Automatic Sampling Unit for Measuring Radiocarbon Content of Groundwater

      Janovics, R.; Molnár, M.; Futó, I.; Rinyu, L.; Svingor, É.; Veres, M.; Somogyi, I.; Barnabás, I. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      An automatic water sampling unit was developed to monitor the radioactive emission (radiocarbon and other corrosion and fission products) from nuclear facilities into the groundwater. Automatic sampling is based on the principal of ion exchange using built-in resin columns in the submerging samplers. In this way, even the short-term emissions can be detected. According to our experiments, the 14C activity concentrations and the 13C values of the samples made by the ion exchange method are systematically underestimated compared to the real values. The carbonate adsorption feature of the sampling unit was studied under laboratory and field conditions. For this purpose, a test method was developed. The observed sampling efficiencies and additionally some carbon contamination for the sampling method itself have to be taken into consideration when we estimate the amount of 14C contamination introduced into the groundwater from a nuclear facility. Therefore, a correction factor should be made for the 14C anion exchange sampling. With the help of this correction, the results converge to the expected value.
    • Monitoring of Atmospheric Excess 14C Around Paks Nuclear Power Plant, Hungary

      Molnár, M.; Bujtás, T.; Svingor, É.; Futó, I.; Světlík, I. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2007-01-01)
      The activity of radiocarbon in 14CO2 and 14CnHm chemical forms is measured in the vicinity of Paks nuclear power plant (NPP), Hungary, by sampling environmental air. Four differential sampling units at different sites collected samples less than 2 km away from the 100-m-high stacks of Paks NPP, and for reference a sampler was operated at a station ~30 km away from Paks NPP. We present the results of continuous observations at the 5 stations covering the time span from 2000 to 2005. The samples have been analyzed by a proportional counting technique. During a cleaning tank incident at unit 2 of Paks NPP in April 2003, a significant release of radioactive isotopes took place from the damaged fuel assemblies, and gaseous products escaped through the chimney. We evaluate the possible short- and long-term impact of this incident on the 14C content of the atmosphere in the surroundings of Paks NPP. Comparing our 14CO2 measurements with data sets from Jungfraujoch and Schauinsland, as well as from Koetice (Czech Republic), we demonstrate that the incident had no definite influence on the 14C content of the atmosphere.
    • Performance Test of a New Graphite Target Production Facility in ATOMKI

      Rinyu, L.; Futó, I.; Kiss, Á. Z.; Molnár, M.; Svingor, É.; Quarta, G.; Calcagnile, L. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2007-01-01)
      We present our new graphite target production system, developed in the Institute of Nuclear Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (ATOMKI), for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating measurements. The system consists of a gas handling line and a graphite target production system. Results of AMS measurements, stable isotope mass spectrometry measurements, and gravimetric/pressure yield determinations have been used to find the proper conditions for the graphitization process. We have also investigated the 14C contamination and the memory effect of the system during the graphitization processes. This paper covers the details of these experiments and a discussion of the results.