- Physics and Astronomy; Radioactivity; Chemistry
The isotopic composition of xenon is reported in four, neutron-irradiated tellurium minerals — tellurobismuthite from Boliden, Sweden, native tellurium from the Good Hope Mine of Gunnison County, Colorado, altaite from the Kirkland Lake area, Ontario, and altaite from the Mattagami Lake area, Quebec. From the amount of radiogenic 130 Xe and pile-produced 131 Xe in these samples, it is concluded that the half-life of 130 Te for ββ-decay is ≲ 1 × 10 21 y based on measured values of (1.0 ± 0.3) × 10 21 y and higher. Our results demonstrate that there has been no significant partial leakage of radiogenic 130 Xe from these minerals over geologic time. Larger values of T12 as indicated from some of the analysis reported here and in other studies, are attributed to recrystallization of the soft telluride minerals and complete resetting of the TeXe system after mineralization. The value obtained here for the half-life of 130 Te is substantiated by recent measurements on xenon in tellurides from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.