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When an ore sample contains radioactivity other than that attributable to the uranium series in equilibrium, a quantitative analysis of the other emitters must be made in order to determine the source of this activity. Thorium-232, radon-222, and lead-210 have been determined by isolation and subsequent activity analysis of some of their short-lived daughter products. The sulfides of bismuth and polonium are precipitated out of solutions of thorium or uranium ores, and the ??-particle activity of polonium-214, polonium-212, and polonium-210 is determined by scintillation-counting techniques. Polonium-214 activity is used to determine radon-222, polonium-212 activity for thorium-232, and polonium-210 for lead-210. The development of these methods of radiochemical analysis will facilitate the rapid determination of some of the major sources of natural radioactivity.
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Quantitative radiochemical method for determination of major sources of natural radioactivity in ores and minerals