Improved sample preparation method for environmental plutonium analysis by ICP-SFMS and alpha-spectrometry

  • Z. Varga
  • G. Surányi
  • N. Vajda
  • Z. Stefánka


A rapid and simple sample preparation method for plutonium determination in environmental samples by inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) and alpha-spectrometry is described. The developed procedure involves a selective CaF2 co-precipitation for preconcentration followed by extraction chromatographic separation. The proposed method effectively eliminates the possible interferences in mass spectrometric analysis and also removes interfering radionuclides that may disturb alpha-spectrometric measurement. For 239Pu, 240Pu and 241Pu limits of detection of 9.0 fg·g−1 (0.021 mBq), 1.7 fg·g−1 (0.014 mBq) and 3.1 fg·g−1 (11.9 mBq) were achieved by ICP-SFMS, respectively, and 0.02 mBq by alpha-spectrometry. Results of certified reference materials agreed well with the recommended values.


Plutonium Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Global Fallout Plutonium Isotope 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Varga
    • 1
  • G. Surányi
    • 2
  • N. Vajda
    • 3
  • Z. Stefánka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of IsotopesHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Research Group of Geophysics and Environmental PhysicsHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Radiochemistry Laboratory, Institute of Nuclear TechniquesBudapest University of Technology and EconomicsBudapestHungary

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