Cesium age dating
One of Pravikoff's colleagues, pharmacologist Philippe Hubert, had discovered in 2001 that he could date unopened bottles of wine by testing them for cesium-137.Cesium-137 is a radioactive isotope of the element cesium that does not occur in nature.Comparisons were made between the Cs inventories in these lakes and large inpoundments in the Adirondacks (Hinkley, Great Sacandaga, Stillwater and Cranberry Lake Reservoirs) and other large impoundments and lakes located in various regions of the U. None of the Adirondack Lakes had Cs distributions with depth in sediment that closely resembled the deposition pattern of weapons testing as a function of time.Two years ago, nuclear scientist Michael Pravikoff, an American ex-pat working in France, was shopping at the local supermarket when he came across a few bottles of Napa Valley Cabernet.
Radioactive isotopes are useful for establishing the ages of various objects.It lead to a fascinating experiment that led to the discovery of radioactive isotopes generated by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in California wines.(Completely harmless levels of radioactive isotopes, to be more specific.) Pravikoff and colleagues at the Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires de Bordeaux Gradignan (CENBG) had been working on a unique method of authenticating rare and expensive wines.Levels of the isotope in the Cabernets were more than double those found in the rosé, probably due to the increased skin contact. The amounts of cesium-137 found in the California wines were too low to cause harm.In fact, they were so minuscule that Pravikoff and his colleagues had to devise a new method of testing to search for it.
Search for cesium age dating:
"During and after the Fukushima incident, RHB increased its monitoring, with the results leading to the conclusion that no health and safety situation existed." Perhaps of most significance to collectors of fine wines, the scientists' findings bolster the evidence that testing for radioactive isotopes can successfully expose fraudulent bottles billed as pre–nuclear age wines.