Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 322, Issue 2, pp 399–406 | Cite as

In situ determination of 238Pu in the presence of uranium by triple quadrupole ICP-MS (ICP-QQQ-MS)

  • Ling Ying Diane TiongEmail author
  • Shimin Tan


In this work, a direct determination of 238Pu determination using reactive gases, CO2 and H2 in triple quadrupole ICP-MS without prior radiochemical separation resins has been established. Quantification of 0.25 pg/mL 238Pu sample mixture (1.18 pg of 238Pu) yielded satisfactory results (> 95% accuracy), uncertainties of less than 15% and in the presence of spiked natural U (0.5 ng/mL). Additional verification of this method was performed using certified ratio materials (IRMM-086, Belgium) and experimental 238Pu/239Pu and 240Pu/239Pu values are analogous to the certified values provided.


Triple quadrupole inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry Plutonium Uranium Isobaric interferences Nuclear forensics 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the research funding provided by National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF). The authors are grateful to Dr. Pong Boon Kin and Dr. Ho Mer Lin, Doris from DSO National Laboratories, Singapore for their fruitful discussions given at the beginning of this work.

Supplementary material

10967_2019_6695_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)
10967_2019_6695_MOESM2_ESM.docx (369 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 368 kb)
10967_2019_6695_MOESM3_ESM.docx (286 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 286 kb)


  1. 1.
    Vajda N, Kim C-K (2010) Determination of Pu isotopes by alpha spectrometry: a review of analytical methodology. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 283:203–223. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Becker JS (2005) Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and laser ablation ICP-MS for isotope analysis of long-lived radionuclides. Int J Mass Spectrom 242:183–195. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wieser ME, Schwieters JB (2005) The development of multiple collector mass spectrometry for isotope ratio measurements. Int J Mass Spectrom 242:97–115. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Greis C, Karlsson S, Düker A, Pettersson H, Allard B (2008) Determination of plutonium in environmental samples with quadrupole ICP-MS. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 275:55–70. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Esaka F, Yasuda K, Suzuki D, Miyamoto Y, Magara M (2017) Analysis of plutonium isotope ratios including 238Pu/239Pu in individual U–Pu mixed oxide particles by means of a combination of alpha spectrometry and ICP-MS. Talanta 165:122–127. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Olufson KP, Moran G (2016) Polyatomic interference removal using a collision reaction interface for plutonium determination in the femtogram range by quadrupole ICP-MS. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 308:639–647. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vais V, Li C, Cornett J (2004) Separation of plutonium from uranium using reactive chemistry in a bandpass reaction cell of an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Anal Bioanal Chem 380:235–239. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tanner SD, Li C, Vais V, Baranov VI, Bandura DR (2004) Chemical resolution of Pu+ from U+ and Am+ using a band-pass reaction cell inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Anal Chem 76:3042–3048. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Krachler M, Alvarez-Sarandes R (2016) Capabilities of high resolution ICP-OES for plutonium isotopic analysis. Microchem J 125:196–202. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Aggarwal SK, Alamelu D, Khodade PS, Shah PM (2007) Determination of 238Pu in plutonium bearing fuels by thermal ionization mass spectrometry. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 273:775–778. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tiong LYD, Ho MLD, Pong BK, Webster RD (2017) A rapid method for quantifying 238Pu in the presence of natural 238U via quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and utilizing a resin-based extraction procedure. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 314:1347–1351. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Xing S, Zhang W, Qiao J, Hou X (2018) Determination of ultra-low level plutonium isotopes (239Pu, 240Pu) in environmental samples with high uranium. Talanta 187:357–364. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Amr MA, Helal A-FI, Al-Kinani AT, Balakrishnan P (2016) Ultra-trace determination of 90Sr, 137Cs, 238Pu, 239Pu, and 240Pu by triple quadruple collision/reaction cell-ICP-MS/MS: establishing a baseline for global fallout in qatar soil and sediments. J Environ Radioact 153:73–87. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Habibi A, Boulet B, Gleizes M, Larivière D, Cote G (2015) Rapid determination of actinides and 90Sr in river water. Anal Chim Acta 883:109–116. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety InitiativeNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations