Evaluation of a single collector, double focusing sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer for the determination of U and Pu concentrations and isotopic compositions at trace level

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This work explores the performance of the “Axiom”, a double focusing sector field ICP-MS (ICP-SFMS) in the determination of actinide concentration and isotopic ratio at trace level. On the actinide mass range the performances observed are characterized by high sensitivity, around 2.8·106 cps·µg−1·l, and low background, below 0.3 cps. Therefore, the absolute instrumental detection limit is approximately 0.05 fg for Pu isotopes. Furthermore, the 235U/238U ratio for a 0.5 µg·l−1 U500 isotopic standard could now be measured using the ICP-SFMS with a relative standard deviation less than 0.1%. Moreover, the accuracy of the measured ratio was demonstrated at low concentration with the target value remaining within experimental uncertainty limits.

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.