[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new rapid separation method was developed for the measurement of plutonium and neptunium in urine samples by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and/or alpha spectrometry with enhanced uranium removal. This method allows separation and preconcentration of plutonium and neptunium in urine samples using stacked extraction chromatography cartridges and vacuum box flow rates to facilitate rapid separations. There is an increasing need to develop faster analytical methods for emergency response samples. There is also enormous benefit to having rapid bioassay methods in the event that a nuclear worker has an uptake (puncture wound, etc.) to assess the magnitude of the uptake and guide efforts to mitigate dose (e.g., tissue excision and chelation therapy). This new method focuses only on the rapid separation of plutonium and neptunium with enhanced removal of uranium. For ICP-MS, purified solutions must have low salt content and low concentration of uranium due to spectral interference of (238)U(1)H(+) on m/z 239. Uranium removal using this method is enhanced by loading plutonium and neptunium initially onto TEVA resin, then moving plutonium to DGA resin where additional purification from uranium is performed with a decontamination factor of almost 1×10(5). If UTEVA resin is added to the separation scheme, a decontamination factor of ~3 × 10(6) can be achieved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new method for the determination of (237)Np and Pu isotopes in large soil samples has been developed that provides enhanced uranium removal to facilitate assay by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). This method allows rapid preconcentration and separation of plutonium and neptunium in large soil samples for the measurement of (237)Np and Pu isotopes by ICP-MS. (238)U can interfere with (239)Pu measurement by ICP-MS as (238)UH(+) mass overlap and (237)Np via (238)U peak tailing. The method provides enhanced removal of uranium by separating Pu and Np initially on TEVA Resin, then transferring Pu to DGA resin for additional purification. The decontamination factor for removal of uranium from plutonium for this method is greater than 1×10(6). Alpha spectrometry can also be applied so that the shorter-lived (238)Pu isotope can be measured successfully. (239) Pu, (242)Pu and (237)Np were measured by ICP-MS, while (236)Pu and (238)Pu were measured by alpha spectrometry.
No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · Analytica chimica acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beryllium (Be) has been used widely in specific areas of nuclear technology. Frequent monitoring of air and possible contaminated surfaces in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facilities is required to identify potential health risks and to protect U.S. DOE workers from beryllium-contaminated dust. A new method has been developed to rapidly remove spectral interferences prior to beryllium measurement by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) that allows lower detection limits. The ion exchange separation removes uranium (U), plutonium (Pu), thorium (Th), niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), molybdenum (Mo), zirconium (Zr), tungsten (W), iron (Fe), chromium (Cr), cerium (Ce), erbium (Er) and titanium (Ti). A stacked column consisting of Diphonix Resin and TEVA Resin reduces the levels of the spectral interferences so that low level Be measurements can be performed accurately. If necessary, an additional anion exchange separation can be used for further removal of interferences, particularly chromium. The method has been tested using spiked filters, spiked wipe samples and certified reference material (CRM) standards with high levels of interferences added. The method provides very efficient removal of spectral interferences with very good accuracy and precision for beryllium on filters or wipes. This new method offers improvements over other separation methods that have been used by removing large amounts of all the significant spectral interferences with greater simplicity and effectiveness. The effective removal of spectral interferences allows lower method detection limits (MDL) using inductively coupled atomic emission spectrometry. A vacuum box system is employed to reduce analytical time and reduce labor costs.