The aim of this work is based on the optimisation of a gamma spectrometry system in anticoincidence for the detection of noble gases, in particular the radioactive isotopes of xenon. These four radionuclides are of particular interest for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The Laboratory of the ENEA Research Centre of Brasimone, where the experimental apparatus has been set up to carry out the measurements of 131mXe, 133Xe, 133mXe and 135Xe, is able to provide, if necessary, data and analysis on noble gases. The apparatus provides for the sampling of outdoor air, the passage through filters and in activated carbons maintained at cryogenic temperatures to allow xenon absorption. Finally, gas extraction and xenon volumes are analyzed by means of gas chromatography and a thermal conductivity detector. At the end of the extraction an aluminium cylinder containing radioxenon is analyzed by high resolution gamma spectroscopy using a High Purity Germanium Detector P-type. The signals produced by the interaction of cosmic rays with the crystal have been recognized as the main cause of the increase of the detector background because they give rise to the Compton continuum and, as a result, they affect the value of the minimum detectable activity (MDA). In order to overcome this effect, a system in anticoincidence has been developed using two plastic scintillators, placed over the shielding of the HPGe detector, which send pulses recording within a time delay window located in the germanium multichannel analyzer: at the time the signal arrives from the scintillator, the gate blocks data acquisition to avoid recording pulses generated by cosmic radiation. For both configurations of the system (with and without the anticoincidence apparatus operating) the energy, and efficiency calibrations have been carried out using a certified multigamma-ray calibration source to assess the performance.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (2023), 259–260, 107107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2022.107107