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Gamma-Ray Spectrometry as a Tool for Exploring Archaeological Nuclear Facilities: A Case Study from the Nevada Test Site Nuclear Rocket Development Station

Issue: Vol 6 No. 2 (2019)

Journal: Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

Subject Areas: Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jca.36566

Abstract:

Since its first demonstration in the early 2000s, the exploration of gamma-ray spectrometry (GRS) applications as a geophysical tool in archaeology remains nascent. While intentional neutron activation, which requires a gamma-ray analysis, has seen increasing use as a geoforensics technique in archaeology, little or no research has been published concerning the possibility of GRS as an industrial archaeological tool for use in exploring nuclear sites or facilities where neutron activation and surface contamination may have already occurred. Consequently, the use of GRS as a geophysical tool for the archaeological investigation of abandoned or decommissioned nuclear facilities is proposed, demonstrated, and discussed using a case study from the Nevada Test Site Nuclear Rocket Development Station.

Author: Ben W. McGee

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