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Appl Radiat Isot. 2009 May;67(5):918-21. doi: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2009.01.057. Epub 2009 Jan 24.

Search for the radioactivity of 180mTa using an underground HPGe sandwich spectrometer.

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  • 1European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Retieseweg 111, B-2440 Geel, Belgium.


The radioactivity of (180m)Ta has never been detected. The present attempt to detect it was carried out using a newly developed HPGe sandwich spectrometer installed 500m water equivalent underground in the HADES laboratory. The sample consisted of 6 discs of tantalum of natural isotopic composition with a total mass of 1500 g and a total mass for (180)Ta of 180 mg. The sample was measured for 68 days and the resulting lower bound for the half-life of (180m)Ta was 2.0 x 10(16)y, which is a factor of 2.8 higher than the previous highest value.

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