Rapid Determination of Actinides and 210Po in Water
Summary of Method
A method for the measurement of 210Po and actinides 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 and actinides are concentrated from up to 1L samples of ground water or 2L samples of drinking water using a calcium phosphate precipitate. 210Po and actinides are then separated from matrix ions and potentially interfering radionuclides using stacked 2mL cartridge of Eichrom TRU and DGA Resin. 210Po and actinides are measured using alpha spectrometry following bismuth phosphate and cerium fluoride microprecipitation, respectively, onto Eichrom Resolve® Filters. Tracer recoveries averaged 81.5 + 2.6% for 209Po, 93.4 + 6.8% for 242Pu, 100.2 + 6.9% for 243Am and 96.6 + 2.5 for 232U. Measured values typically agreed to within 3-5% of reference values. A single operator can prepare batches of 12-24 samples for alpha counting in 4-6 hours. Alpha spectrometry count times will vary depending on desired detection limit and data quality objectives.