Determination of neptunium in plutonium materials by ICP-MS
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An ICP-MS analytical method as an alternative to the current radiochemical method was developed to analyze trace level 237Np in bulk plutonium materials. In this method, 237Np is determined together with a suite of trace elements during a single analysis using one dissolution solution. Method validation was achieved through precision examination, spike recovery study, detection limit determination, comparison of results with the radiochemical method, and laboratory intercomparison studies on Pu metals. The ICP-MS method significantly reduced the analysis cost, the sample amount, consumption of chemicals and waste generation, as well as the sample turnaround time.
KeywordsICP-MS Trace elements Neptunium Plutonium metal
The authors would like to acknowledge the National Nuclear Security Administration for funding the project. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Plutonium Metal Standards Exchange Program, especially Dr. Lav Tandon, for providing the Pu samples for this study and permitting us to use the interlaboratory exchange data. This publication is LA-UR-12-24410.
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