Rapid analysis of emergency urine and water samples
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There is a need for fast, reliable methods for the determination of actinides and 89/90Sr analysis on environmental and bioassay samples in response to an emergency radiological incident. The Savannah River Site (SRS) Environmental Laboratory participated in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Radiochemistry Intercomparison Program (NRIP-06) and analyzed water and urine samples within 8 hours of receipt. The SRS Environmental Laboratory was the only lab that participated in the program that analyzed these samples for both actinides and 89/90Sr within an eight hour turnaround time. A rapid actinide and 89/90Sr separation method was used for both urine and water samples. This method uses stacked TEVA Resin®, TRU Resin® and Sr-Resin® cartridges from Eichrom Technologies (Darien, IL, USA) that allows the rapid separation of plutonium (Pu), neptunium (Np), uranium (U), and americium (Am), curium (Cm) and thorium (Th) using a single multi-stage column combined with alpha-spectrometry. Vacuum box cartridge technology with rapid flow rates was used to minimize sample preparation time. This paper discusses the technology and conditions employed for both water and urine samples and presents the SRS performance data on the NRIP-06 samples.
KeywordsPlutonium Americium Full Width Half Maximum Cerium Nitrate Savannah River Site
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