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Rapid Determination of 210Po in Water Samples

Published Time:2016-12-12
Summary of Method
A method for the measurement of 210Po in terrestrial water samples is described, offering significant advantages in detection limit, processing time, and resistance to chemical and radiochemical interferences over standard methods where polonium is determined following spontaneous deposition onto metal planchets. 210Po is concentrated from up to 1L samples of ground water or 2L samples of drinking water using a calcium phosphate precipitate. 210Po is then separated from matrix ions and potentially interfering radionuclides using a 2mL cartridge of Eichrom DGA Resin. 210Po is measured using alpha spectrometry following bismuth phosphate microprecipitation onto an Eichrom Resolve® Filter. Chemical recoveries of polonium, determined with a 209Po tracer, were typically 80-90%. 210Po measurements typically agreed to reference values to within 3-5%. A single operator can prepare batches of 12- 24 samples for alpha counting in 3-4 hours. Alpha spectrometry count times will vary depending on desired detection limit and data quality objectives. Polonium determination may also be integrated into methods for the determination of actinides (Eichrom Application Note AN-1416).

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