A borehole sonde (~1.7 m long; 7.3 cm diameter) using a 200 mm2 planar intrinsic germanium detector, mounted in a cryostat cooled by removable canisters of frozen propane, has been constructed and tested. The sonde is especially useful in measuring X- and low-energy gamma-ray spectra (40–400 keV). Laboratory tests in an artificial borehole facility indicate its potential for in-situ uranium analyses in boreholes irrespective of the state of equilibrium in the uranium series. Both natural gamma-ray and neutron-activation gamma-ray spectra have been measured with the sonde. Although the neutron-activation technique yields greater sensitivity, improvements being made in the resolution and efficiency of intrinsic germanium detectors suggest that it will soon be possible to use a similar sonde in the passive mode for measurement of uranium in a borehole down to about 0.1% with acceptable accuracy. Using a similar detector and neutron activation, the sonde can be used to measure uranium down to 0.01%.
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Intrinsic germanium detector used in borehole sonde for uranium exploration