Suspensions of fluor-containing nanoparticles for quantifying β−-emitting radionuclides in non-hazardous media
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Nanoparticles containing scintillants were prepared from oil-in-water microemulsions in which styrene-divinylbenzene comprised the oil phase. Primary and secondary fluors [2,5-diphenyloxazole and 1,4-bis(2-methylstyryl) benzene] were dissolved in the oil phase, which was emulsified with dodecyl trimethylammonium bromide or sodium dodecyl sulfate before polymerization by the addition of sodium persulfate. The resulting suspension qualified as non-hazardous waste by testing against US EPA standards for reactivity, pH, ignitability, and toxicity characteristic leaching.14C-glycerol was added to the aqueous nanoparticle suspension and to a conventional organic scintillation cocktail, and the relative efficiency of detection was obtained by liquid scintillation counting. The results were compared with a mathematical model that predicted the effect of particle size and concentration on the probability of an emitted β− particle interacting with a suspended particle. The use of these nanoparticle suspensions represents an opportunity to reduce mixed low-level radioactive hazardous waste generated by liquid scintillation counting.
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