Determination of plutonium isotopes in seawater samples by Semiconductor Alpha Spectrometry, ICP-MS and AMS techniques

  • S. H. LeeEmail author
  • P. P. Povinec
  • J. Gastaud
  • J. J. La Rosa
  • E. Wyse
  • L. K. Fifield


Analysis of plutonium isotopes by Semiconductor Alpha Spectrometry (SAS), ICP-sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) was carried out in seawater samples collected from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean (nuclear waste dumping sites) and Northwest Pacific Ocean. No particularly elevated levels of the atom ratios of 240Pu/239Pu compared to global fallout ratio (0.18) were found in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean seawater samples. The higher levels of atom ratios of 240Pu/239Pu were found in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. This is mainly due to contribution from the local fallout from nuclear weapon tests carried out at the Pacific Proving Grounds at the Marshall Islands.


Plutonium Seawater Semi Alpha Spectrometry ICP-MS and AMS 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio 



The authors thank the Captain and the crew of the research vessel “Bosei Maru” and “Walther Herwig III” for their assistance. The International Atomic Energy Agency is grateful to the Government of the Principality of Monaco for support provided to its Marine Environment Laboratories.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. Lee
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. P. Povinec
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Gastaud
    • 1
  • J. J. La Rosa
    • 1
    • 4
  • E. Wyse
    • 1
    • 5
  • L. K. Fifield
    • 6
  1. 1.International Atomic Energy AgencyMarine Environment LaboratoryMonaco CedexMonaco
  2. 2.Korea Research Institute of Standards and ScienceDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Faculty of Mathematics and PhysicsComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  4. 4.Ionizing Radiation DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  5. 5.New Brunswick Laboratory in ArgonneArgonneUSA
  6. 6.Department of Nuclear PhysicsAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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