The water purification system for the low background counting test facility of the Borexino experiment at Gran Sasso
M. Balata, L. Cadonati, M. Laubenstein, G. Heusser, M.G. Giammarchi, R. Scardaoni, V. Torri, G. Cecchet, A. de Bari, A. Perotti
Nuclear Instruments and Methods – A
Volume 370, Issues 2–3, 21 February 1996, Pages 605-608
The Borexino experiment, for the study of solar neutrino physics, requires radiopurity at the level of 5 × 10−16 g/g 238U equivalent (or 6 × 10−9 Bq/kg) on a detector mass of many tons of scintillator. Feasibility studies are performed in a counting test facility now operating at LNGS, which consists of 4 t of liquid scintillator viewed by 100 photomultipliers and shielded by 100 t of water. The accomplishment of this goal requires the shielding liquid, water, to be at the 10−13 g/g contamination level (1.2 × 10−6 Bq/kg) or better. This paper describes the water purification system; it consists of a combination of several purification processes to remove particulate, radioactive ions, dissolved gases and other impurities. Residual contaminations are measured by analytical or direct-counting techniques. For radon measurement, particularly challenging at this low activity levels, a low background counting method has been developed.