Nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s ejected considerable quantities of e.g. actinides (such as uranium, plutonium) but also iodine, etc. into the stratosphere. From there, they were distributed globally and ultimately fell out on the earth's surface. Although the radioactive fallout occurs only at ultra-trace levels in nature, they can be readily measured by accelerator mass spectrometry with the 14UD heavy ion accelerator at the Australian National University or the 1 MV VEGA accelerator at ANSTO (Sydney).
For this project, several different samples will be analysed for their radioactive fallout, with a special emphasis on uranium and plutonium. This requires working in a chemistry laboratory in order to extract uranium and plutonium from the respective samples. However, no prior chemistry knowledge is required.
No specific background is required, however, the sample prepartion is done in our chemistry laboratory.