Rapid determination of 90Sr/90Y in water samples by liquid scintillation and Cherenkov counting

  • Jennifer M. OlfertEmail author
  • Xiongxin Dai
  • Sheila Kramer-Tremblay


Strontium-90 (90Sr) is a ubiquitous contaminant at nuclear facilities, found at high concentrations in spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Due to its long half-life and ability to be transported in groundwater, an accurate method for measuring 90Sr in water samples is critical to the monitoring program of any nuclear facility. To address this need, a rapid procedure for sequential separation of Sr/Y was developed and tested in groundwater samples collected from an area of riverbed affected by a 90Sr groundwater plume. Sixteen samples, plus spike and water blanks, were analyzed. Five different measurements were performed to determine the 90Sr and yttrium-90 (90Y) activities in the samples: direct triple-to-double-coincidence ratio (TDCR) Cherenkov counting of 90Y, liquid scintillation (LS) counting for 90Sr following radiochemical separation, LS counting for 90Y following radiochemical separation, Cherenkov counting for 90Y following radiochemical separation and LS counting of the Sr samples for 90Y in-growth. The counting was done using a low-level Hidex 300SL TDCR counter. Each measurement method was compared for accuracy, sensitivity and efficiency. The results following Cherenkov counting and radiochemical separation were in very good agreement with one another.


Radiostrontium Liquid scintillation counting Cherenkov counting Water Monitoring 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).


  1. 1.
    UNSCEAR (2000) Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. Report to the General Assembly of the United Nations with Scientific Annexes, United Nations sales publication E.00.IX.3, United NationsGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Amano H, Matsunaga T, Nagao S, Hanzawa Y, Watanabe M, Ueno T, Onuma Y (1999) Org Geochem 30(6):437–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shevchenko A, Gudzenko V, Nasedkin I, Panasevitch E (2001) Environ Geol 40:1177–1184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Audet M (2013) Annual Safety Report—CRL Groundwater Monitoring Program Annual Report for 2011, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. CRL-509247-ASR-2011Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    United States Environmental Protection Agency (2012) Radiation protection: strontium. Accessed 10 Dec 2013
  6. 6.
    Vajda N, Kim CK (2010) Appl Radiat Isot 68(12):2306–2326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vaney B, Friedli C, Geering JJ, Lerch P (1989) J Radioanal Nucl Chem 134:87–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cobb J, Warwick P, Carpenter RC, Morrison RT (1994) Analyst 119:1759–1764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shabana EI, Al-Hussan KA, Al-Jaseem QK (1996) J Radioanal Nucl Chem 212:229–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Grahek Ž, Zečević N, Lulić S (1999) Anal Chim Acta 399:237–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Popov L, Hou X, Nielsen SP, Yu Y, Djingova R, Kuleff I (2006) J Radioanal Nucl Chem 269:161–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stamoulis KC, Ioannides KG, Karamanis DT, Patiris DC (2007) J Environ Radioact 93:144–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tayeb K, Dai X, Corcoran EC, Kelly DG (2013) J Radioanal Nucl Chem (Accepted)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kossert K (2010) Appl Radiat Isot 68:1116–1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Currie LA (1968) Anal Chem 40:586–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dai X, Cui Y, Kramer-Tremblay S (2013) J Radioanal Nucl Chem 296:363–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Atomic Energy of Canada Limited 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer M. Olfert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiongxin Dai
    • 1
  • Sheila Kramer-Tremblay
    • 1
  1. 1.Chalk River LaboratoriesAtomic Energy of Canada LimitedChalk RiverCanada

Personalised recommendations