Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) is a qualitative and quantitative analytical technique for the determination of trace elements in a variety of objects, such as water, air, soil, fish, meteorites, rocks, and even agricultural products and plants. It is the most simple and widely used application of research reactors.
The technique is non-destructive, unless the element of interest is lower than the detection limit, in which case chemical separations are necessary. The sample is irradiated in the reactor, and then its gamma radiation spectrum reveals its content.
Soil mapping using NAA (ICENS, Jamaica)