The performances of a CeF3crystal scintillator with a mass of 49.3 g have been investigated. In particular, the α/β light ratio and the possibility of a pulse-shape discrimination between α particles and γ quanta have been studied. The radioactive contamination of the crystal has been investigated. The application of the obtained results in the search for rare processes such as the two neutrino double electron capture in136Ce and138Ce and the α activity in142Ce has been investigated. As a result, new T1/2limits for these processes have been determined (90% C.L.): T1/22ν2 K(136Ce) ≥ 2.7 × 1016yr, T1/22ν2 K(138Ce) ≥ 3.7 × 1016yr and T1/2α(142Ce) ≥ 2.9 × 1018yr. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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