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Title: 237 Np analytical method using 239 Np tracers and application to a contaminated nuclear disposal facility

Abstract

Environmental 237Np analyses are challenged by low 237Np concentrations and lack of an available yield tracer; we report a rapid, inexpensive 237Np analytical approach employing the short lived 239Np (t1/2 = 2.3 days) as a chemical yield tracer followed by 237Np quantification using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. 239Np tracer is obtained via separation from a 243Am stock solution and standardized using gamma spectrometry immediately prior to sample processing. Rapid digestions using a commercial, 900 watt “Walmart” microwave and Parr microwave vessels result in 99.8 ± 0.1% digestion yields, while chromatographic separations enable Np/U separation factors on the order of 106 and total Np yields of 95 ± 4% (2σ). Application of this method to legacy soil samples surrounding a radioactive disposal facility (the Subsurface Disposal Area at Idaho National Laboratory) reveal the presence of low level 237Np contamination within 600 meters of this site, with maximum 237Np concentrations on the order of 103 times greater than nuclear weapons testing fallout levels.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1372000
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-121395
Journal ID: ISSN 0265-931X; DN2003000
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity; Journal Volume: 172; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES

Citation Formats

Snow, Mathew S., Morrison, Samuel S., Clark, Sue B., Olson, John E., and Watrous, Matthew G. 237 Np analytical method using 239 Np tracers and application to a contaminated nuclear disposal facility. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.02.018.
Snow, Mathew S., Morrison, Samuel S., Clark, Sue B., Olson, John E., & Watrous, Matthew G. 237 Np analytical method using 239 Np tracers and application to a contaminated nuclear disposal facility. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.02.018.
Snow, Mathew S., Morrison, Samuel S., Clark, Sue B., Olson, John E., and Watrous, Matthew G. Thu . "237 Np analytical method using 239 Np tracers and application to a contaminated nuclear disposal facility". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.02.018.
@article{osti_1372000,
title = {237 Np analytical method using 239 Np tracers and application to a contaminated nuclear disposal facility},
author = {Snow, Mathew S. and Morrison, Samuel S. and Clark, Sue B. and Olson, John E. and Watrous, Matthew G.},
abstractNote = {Environmental 237Np analyses are challenged by low 237Np concentrations and lack of an available yield tracer; we report a rapid, inexpensive 237Np analytical approach employing the short lived 239Np (t1/2 = 2.3 days) as a chemical yield tracer followed by 237Np quantification using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. 239Np tracer is obtained via separation from a 243Am stock solution and standardized using gamma spectrometry immediately prior to sample processing. Rapid digestions using a commercial, 900 watt “Walmart” microwave and Parr microwave vessels result in 99.8 ± 0.1% digestion yields, while chromatographic separations enable Np/U separation factors on the order of 106 and total Np yields of 95 ± 4% (2σ). Application of this method to legacy soil samples surrounding a radioactive disposal facility (the Subsurface Disposal Area at Idaho National Laboratory) reveal the presence of low level 237Np contamination within 600 meters of this site, with maximum 237Np concentrations on the order of 103 times greater than nuclear weapons testing fallout levels.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.02.018},
journal = {Journal of Environmental Radioactivity},
number = C,
volume = 172,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}