Assay methods for 238U, 232Th, and 210Pb in lead and calibration of 210Bi bremsstrahlung emission from lead

Research paper by John L. Orrell, Craig E. Aalseth, Isaac J. Arnquist, Tere A. Eggemeyer, Brian D. Glasgow, Eric W. Hoppe, Martin E. Keillor, Shannon M. Morley, Allan W. Myers, Cory T. Overman, Sarah M. Shaff, Kimbrelle S. Thommasson

Indexed on: 13 Feb '16Published on: 13 Feb '16Published in: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry


Methods for measuring 238U, 232Th, and 210Pb in refined lead are presented. The 238U and 232Th concentrations are determined using isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after anion exchange column separation of dissolved lead samples. The 210Pb concentration is inferred through α-spectroscopy of a daughter isotope, 210Po, after precipitation separation of dissolved lead samples. Subsequent to the 210Po α-spectroscopy measurement, a method for evaluating 210Pb concentrations was developed via measurement of bremsstrahlung radiation from β-decay of a daughter isotope, 210Bi, using a 14-crystal array of high purity germanium detectors. Ten sources of refined lead were assayed and results are presented.