Rapid separation of actinides and radiostrontium in vegetation samples
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A new rapid method for the determination of actinides and radiostrontium in vegetation samples has been developed at the Savannah River Site Environmental Lab (Aiken, SC, USA) that can be used in emergency response situations or for routine analysis. The actinides in vegetation method utilizes a rapid sodium hydroxide fusion method, a lanthanum fluoride matrix removal step, and a streamlined column separation process with stacked TEVA, TRU and DGA Resin cartridges. Lanthanum was separated rapidly and effectively from Am and Cm on DGA Resin. Alpha emitters are prepared using rare earth microprecipitation for counting by alpha spectrometry. The purified 90Sr fractions are mounted directly on planchets and counted by gas flow proportional counting. The method showed high chemical recoveries and effective removal of interferences. The actinide and 90Sr in vegetation sample analysis can be performed in less than 8 h with excellent quality for emergency samples. The rapid fusion technique is a rugged sample digestion method that ensures that any refractory actinide particles or vegetation residue after furnace heating is effectively digested.
KeywordsActinides Separation Vegetation Environmental Rapid
This work was performed under the auspices of the Department of Energy, DOE Contract No. DE-AC09-96SR18500. The authors wish to acknowledge Shermette Upson, Jack Herrington and Becky Chavous for their assistance with this work.
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