Alpha spectroscopic analysis of actinides (Th, U and Pu) after separation from aqueous solutions by cation-exchange and liquid extraction
SourceJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
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The radioactivity concentration of 236Pu, 232U and 228Th in aqueous samples has been determined by means of alpha spectroscopy after chemical separation and pre-concentration of the radionuclides by cation exchange and liquid-liquid extraction using the Chelex-100 resin and 30% TBP/dodecan, respectively. Method calibration using a 236Pu standard solution containing the daughter radionuclides results in a detector efficiency of 18% and in a chemical recovery for cation-exchange which is (30 ± 7)%, (90 ± 5)% and (20 ± 5)% for plutonium, uranium and thorium, respectively. The chemical recovery for liquid-liquid extraction is found to be (60 ± 7)%, (50 ± 5)% and (70 ± 5)%, for plutonium, uranium and thorium, respectively. The differences in the efficiencies can be ascribed to the oxidation states, the different actinides present in solution. Taking into account that the electrodeposition of the radionuclides under study is quantitative, the total method efficiency is calculated to be (18 ± 15)%, (46 ± 7)% and (15 ± 5)%, for plutonium, uranium and thorium, respectively, at the mBq concentration range. The detection limit of the alpha spectrometric system has been found to be 0.2 mBq/L, suggesting that the method could be successfully applied for the radiometric analysis of the studied radionuclides and particularly uranium in aqueous samples. © 2010 Akadémiai Kiadó.