Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 317, Issue 3, pp 1439–1445 | Cite as

An alternative separation procedure for 90Sr age dating using DGA Resin

  • Derek R. McLainEmail author
  • Yifen Tsai
  • Donald G. Graczyk
  • Jodi L. Canaday
  • Jennifer L. Steeb


The likelihood of an attack by a terrorist organization using a radiological dispersal device (RDD) is much higher than that of an attack with an improvised nuclear device or true nuclear weapon, as much less technical expertise is required to build an RDD. Consequently, there has been an effort to develop methods for age-dating radiological sealed sources in recent years. One such procedure, described by Steeb et al., is used for determining the age of 90Sr sources. That procedure utilized a rather expensive extraction chromatography resin and was based on an uncommon apparatus with limited sample capacity for the separation step. The procedure also left the Zr fraction contaminated with the radioactive 90Y daughter nuclide. The present work investigates using an alternative separation scheme that utilizes a less costly resin in a widely available column configuration and results in the isolation of 90Sr’s stable granddaughter, 90Zr, without 90Y contamination. This allows the zirconium quantification to be done with a mass spectrometer outside the radiological environment and increases the number of instruments capable of making the measurement, which could allow measurements to be made more quickly.


Extraction chromatography 90Sr RDD Age dating Diglycolamide resin Nuclear forensics 



This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Contract Number HSHQDN-16-X-00011. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


  1. 1.
    Wallenius M, Mayer K, Ray I (2006) Nuclear forensic investigations: two case studies. Forensic Sci Int 156(1):55–62CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baum EM, Ernesti MC, Knox HD, Miller TR, Watson AM (2010) Nuclides and isotopes chart of the nuclides, 17th edn. Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp, West MifflinGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Petrarca R, Dugel PU, Bennett M, Barak A, Weinberger D et al (2014) Macular epiretinal brachytherapy in treated age-related macular degeneration (Meritage): month 24 safety and efficacy results. Retina 34(5):874–879CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Salem R, Gordon AC, Mouli S, Hickey R, Kallini J et al (2016) Y90 radioembolization significantly prolongs time to progression compared with chemoembolization in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Gastroenterology 151(6):1155–1163CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Council NR (2008) Radiation source use and replacement: abbreviated version. The National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Parks DL (2009) End of an era and closing the circle—disposal of 90Strontiums radioisotope thermoelectric generators. In: Paper presented at the Waste Management 2009, Pheonix, AZGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Standring WJF, Dowdall M, Sneve M, Selnæs ØG, Amundsen I (2007) Environmental, health and safety assessment of decommissioning radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) in northwest Russia. J Radiol Prot 27(3):321CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Oak Ridge Details Sr Production (1961) Chem Eng News Arch 39(50):62–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Steeb JL, Graczyk DG, Tsai Y, Mertz CJ, Essling AM et al (2013) Application of mass spectrometric isotope dilution methodology for 90Sr age-dating with measurements by thermal-ionization and inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrometry. J Anal At Spectrom 28(9):1493–1507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kahn SK, Lind RP, Adamic ML, Giglio JJ, Cummings DG et al (2007) The Examination and Analysis of a 90Sr Blood Irradiator, INL Report INL/EXT-08-13671. Idaho Falls, IDGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zattoni AP (2015) Separation and analysis of Sr-90 and Zr-90 for nuclear forensic applications. Laval University, QuebecGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    NIST (2008) SRM 4919I: 90Strontiums Radioactivity Standard. National Institute of Standards and Technology, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    NIST (2008) SRM 4239: 90Strontiums radioactivity standard. National Institute of Standards and Technology, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    NIST (2007) SRM 987: strontium carbonate isotopic standard. National Institute of Standards and Technology, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    NIST (2011) SRM 3153a: strontium standard solution. National Institute of Standards and Technology, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Horwitz EP, Chiarizia R, Dietz ML (1992) A novel strontium-selective extraction chromatographic resin. Solv Extr Ion Exch 10(2):313–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Horwitz EP, McAlister DR, Bond AH, Barrans RE (2005) Novel extraction of chromatographic resins based on Tetraalkyldiglycolamides: characterization and potential applications. Solv Extr and Ion Exch 23(3):319–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tazoe H, Obata H, Yamagata T, Zi Karube, Nagai H et al (2016) Determination of 90Strontiums from direct separation of yttrium-90 by solid phase extraction using DGA Resin for seawater monitoring. Talanta 152:219–227CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jung Y, Kim H, Lim J-M, Chung KH (2017) Feasibility study of an analytical method for detecting 90Sr in soil using DGA resin and Sr resin. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 313(2):401–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Salit ML, Turk GC (1998) A drift correction procedure. Anal Chem 70(15):3184–3190CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Salit ML, Turk GC, Lindstrom AP, Butler TA, Beck CM et al (2001) Single-element solution comparisons with a high-performance inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometric method. Anal Chem 73(20):4821–4829CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Salit ML, Vocke RD, Kelly WR (2000) An ICP-OES method with 0.2 expanded uncertainties for the characterization of LiAlO2. Anal Chem 72(15):3504–3511CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Steeb JL, Graczyk DG, Tsai Y, Mertz CJ, Kimberlin A et al (2016) Age-dating methodology for 137Cs ceramic sources. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 309(3):999–1019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Miller JN, Miller JC (2010) Statistics and chemometrics for analytical chemistry, 6th edn. Pearson Education Ltd, GosportGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek R. McLain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yifen Tsai
    • 1
  • Donald G. Graczyk
    • 1
  • Jodi L. Canaday
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Steeb
    • 1
  1. 1.Argonne National LaboratoryLemontUSA

Personalised recommendations