Uranium analysis in Cypriot groundwaters by total alpha-radiometry and alpha-spectroscopy
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Two different alpha-radiometric methods (e.g. alpha-spectroscopy and alpha-particle counting) have been applied to the determination of uranium in Cypriot groundwater samples after separation of the radionuclides by cation exchange using Chelex-100 and its electrodeposition on stainless steel planchettes. The data obtained were compared to show the advantages and disadvantages of the two radiometric methods, determine the alpha-radioactivity concentration and the radiation dose associated with the use of the studied groundwaters. Calibration of the methods was performed by means of uranium standard solutions and the corresponding data were used to evaluate linear range, detector efficiency, detection limits, value of the information obtained, and time of analysis of the methods. Comparison of the data obtained from calibration and natural sample measurements has shown that alpha-particle counting with a simple alpha-radiometer (equipped with a semiconductor detector) may offer only an activity value and not detailed information about the isotopic composition but it is the fastest method and the method of choice if only a screening method for the alpha-radioactivity measurement is required. Based on the alpha-radioactivity data, the corresponding radiation dose was estimated for situations where the groundwaters are used for drinking water purposes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.