Determination of 241Pu in marine samples using co-precipitation with rare earth fluoride and liquid scintillation spectrometry

Research paper by L. Liong Wee Kwong, J. Gastaud, J. La Rosa, S. H. Lee, P. P. Povinec, E. Wyse

Indexed on: 01 Aug '04Published on: 01 Aug '04Published in: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry


241Pu was measured in reference materials and marine samples using a novel method based on rare earth fluoride co-precipitation followed by liquid scintillation spectrometry (LSS). Disc sources used for α-spectrometry of 238Pu and 239+240Pu were leached with concentrated nitric acid before neodymium fluoride co-precipitation to scavenge plutonium in the lower oxidation states was carried out. After the determination of the chemical recovery by α-spectrometry, the precipitate was recovered in a H3BO3/HNO3 based dissolver and mixed with Packard Insta-GelÒ Plus cocktail before LSS. Reasonable agreement has been obtained between the results obtained using this methods and the data obtained by direct disc analysis by LSS and ICP-MS. The 241Pu/239+240Pu ratios were coherent with the expected origin of the Pu contaminant in the marine environment showing the validity of the method.