The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Expanding the radioanalysts toolbox: using the latest generation plasma mass spectrometers for nuclear waste characterisation

Expanding the radioanalysts toolbox: using the latest generation plasma mass spectrometers for nuclear waste characterisation
Expanding the radioanalysts toolbox: using the latest generation plasma mass spectrometers for nuclear waste characterisation
This project investigates the application of sector field inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) in low-level radionuclide detection in environmental samples and low-level nuclear waste. The aim was to develop robust and sensitive procedures for measuring medium-long lived emitters of interest to various Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) sites. ICP-SFMS has been investigated for the measurement of the significant fission product radionuclides of caesium (135Cs and 137Cs) and strontium (90Sr). In the case of some shorter-lived radionuclides such as 90Sr, ICP-SFMS can achieve sensitivities that rival existing radiometric techniques, whilst offering a significant improvement in the speed of analysis. Additionally, long-lived low abundance radionuclides such as 135Cs are not detectable using radiometric techniques, but can be quantified by ICP-SFMS, which is important given their major contribution to the long-term radiological risk associated with deep geological disposal. Measurement of 135Cs also enables measurement of the 135Cs/137Cs ratio, which varies with the source of nuclear contamination, and therefore can provide a powerful forensic tool compared to radiometric 137Cs detection alone.

ICP-SFMS has been proven to achieve high sensitivities that will enable low-level radionuclide detection. In order to reach these sensitivities, it is critical to ensure removal of interfering elements that otherwise significantly impact the accuracy of measured values. This led to the development of novel and efficient chemical separation procedures that achieve both a high analyte recovery, and effective decontamination of interferences, which have been proven to be effective for a range of sample matrices including seawater and sediments. The combination of imaginative sample preparation procedures and use of new generation ICP-SFMS offer a streamlining of the process that will contribute to faster more sensitive assessment and clean-up of nuclear sites. This will lead to a reduction in analytical timescales and reduce the demand on existing analytical facilities, benefitting site operators and the NDA.
Russell, Benjamin C.
a6630e2a-c871-40c2-a80f-e230b1d86be8
Russell, Benjamin C.
a6630e2a-c871-40c2-a80f-e230b1d86be8
Croudace, Ian
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf

Russell, Benjamin C. (2014) Expanding the radioanalysts toolbox: using the latest generation plasma mass spectrometers for nuclear waste characterisation. University of Southampton, Ocean and Earth Science, Doctoral Thesis, 201pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This project investigates the application of sector field inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) in low-level radionuclide detection in environmental samples and low-level nuclear waste. The aim was to develop robust and sensitive procedures for measuring medium-long lived emitters of interest to various Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) sites. ICP-SFMS has been investigated for the measurement of the significant fission product radionuclides of caesium (135Cs and 137Cs) and strontium (90Sr). In the case of some shorter-lived radionuclides such as 90Sr, ICP-SFMS can achieve sensitivities that rival existing radiometric techniques, whilst offering a significant improvement in the speed of analysis. Additionally, long-lived low abundance radionuclides such as 135Cs are not detectable using radiometric techniques, but can be quantified by ICP-SFMS, which is important given their major contribution to the long-term radiological risk associated with deep geological disposal. Measurement of 135Cs also enables measurement of the 135Cs/137Cs ratio, which varies with the source of nuclear contamination, and therefore can provide a powerful forensic tool compared to radiometric 137Cs detection alone.

ICP-SFMS has been proven to achieve high sensitivities that will enable low-level radionuclide detection. In order to reach these sensitivities, it is critical to ensure removal of interfering elements that otherwise significantly impact the accuracy of measured values. This led to the development of novel and efficient chemical separation procedures that achieve both a high analyte recovery, and effective decontamination of interferences, which have been proven to be effective for a range of sample matrices including seawater and sediments. The combination of imaginative sample preparation procedures and use of new generation ICP-SFMS offer a streamlining of the process that will contribute to faster more sensitive assessment and clean-up of nuclear sites. This will lead to a reduction in analytical timescales and reduce the demand on existing analytical facilities, benefitting site operators and the NDA.

Text
Russell, Benjamin_Feb_2015_PhD.pdf - Other
Download (4MB)

More information

Published date: 19 June 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374832
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374832
PURE UUID: ac408064-70a8-41b7-a62d-1ea7246217c8

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Mar 2015 16:46
Last modified: 20 Apr 2018 16:32

Export record

Contributors

Author: Benjamin C. Russell
Thesis advisor: Ian Croudace

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×