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Title: Rapid fusion method for the determination of refractory thorium and uranium isotopes in soil samples

Recently, approximately 80% of participating laboratories failed to accurately determine uranium isotopes in soil samples in the U.S Department of Energy Mixed Analyte Performance Evaluation Program (MAPEP) Session 30, due to incomplete dissolution of refractory particles in the samples. Failing laboratories employed acid dissolution methods, including hydrofluoric acid, to recover uranium from the soil matrix. The failures illustrate the importance of rugged soil dissolution methods for the accurate measurement of analytes in the sample matrix. A new rapid fusion method has been developed by the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to prepare 1-2 g soil sample aliquots very quickly, with total dissolution of refractory particles. Soil samples are fused with sodium hydroxide at 600 ºC in zirconium crucibles to enable complete dissolution of the sample. Uranium and thorium are separated on stacked TEVA and TRU extraction chromatographic resin cartridges, prior to isotopic measurements by alpha spectrometry on cerium fluoride microprecipitation sources. Plutonium can also be separated and measured using this method. Batches of 12 samples can be prepared for measurement in <5 hours.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
  2. PG Research Foundation, Lisle, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1171511
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI--2014-00628
Journal ID: ISSN 0236-5731
Grant/Contract Number:
AC09-08SR22470
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 305; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0236-5731
Publisher:
Springer
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES RAPID; THORIUM; URANIUM; SOIL; FUSION; REFRACTORY