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Determination of 135Cs and 137Cs in environmental samples: A review

Determination of 135Cs and 137Cs in environmental samples: A review
Determination of 135Cs and 137Cs in environmental samples: A review
Radionuclides of caesium are environmentally important since they are formed as significant high yield fission products (135Cs and 137Cs) and activation products (134Cs and 136Cs) during nuclear fission. They originate from a range of nuclear activities such as weapons testing, nuclear reprocessing and nuclear fuel cycle discharges and nuclear accidents. Whilst 137Cs, 134Cs and 136Cs are routinely measurable at high sensitivity by gamma spectrometry, routine detection of long-lived 135Cs by radiometric methods is challenging. This measurement is, however, important given its significance in long-term nuclear waste storage and disposal. Furthermore, the 135Cs/137Cs ratio varies with reactor, weapon and fuel type, and accurate measurement of this ratio can therefore be used as a forensic tool in identifying the source(s) of nuclear contamination. The shorter-lived activation products 134Cs and 136Cs have a limited application but provide useful early information on fuel irradiation history and have importance in health physics.

Detection of 135Cs (and 137Cs) is achievable by mass spectrometric techniques; most commonly inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), as well as thermal ionisation (TIMS), accelerator (AMS) and resonance ionisation (RIMS) techniques. The critical issues affecting the accuracy and detection limits achievable by this technique are effective removal of barium to eliminate isobaric interferences arising from 135Ba and 137Ba, and elimination of peak tailing of stable 133Cs on 135Cs. Isobaric interferences can be removed by chemical separation, most commonly ion exchange chromatography, and/or instrumental separation using an ICP-MS equipped with a reaction cell. The removal of the peak tailing interference is dependent on the instrument used for final measurement. This review summarizes and compares the analytical procedures developed for determination of 135Cs/137Cs, with particular focus on ICP-MS detection and the methods applied to interference separation.
0003-2670
7-20
Russell, B.C.
21d33ae7-9e9c-4697-b097-05e8b2e4540b
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Warwick, Phil E.
f2675d83-eee2-40c5-b53d-fbe437f401ef
Russell, B.C.
21d33ae7-9e9c-4697-b097-05e8b2e4540b
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Warwick, Phil E.
f2675d83-eee2-40c5-b53d-fbe437f401ef

Russell, B.C., Croudace, Ian W. and Warwick, Phil E. (2015) Determination of 135Cs and 137Cs in environmental samples: A review. Analytica Chimica Acta, 890, 7-20. (doi:10.1016/j.aca.2015.06.037).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Radionuclides of caesium are environmentally important since they are formed as significant high yield fission products (135Cs and 137Cs) and activation products (134Cs and 136Cs) during nuclear fission. They originate from a range of nuclear activities such as weapons testing, nuclear reprocessing and nuclear fuel cycle discharges and nuclear accidents. Whilst 137Cs, 134Cs and 136Cs are routinely measurable at high sensitivity by gamma spectrometry, routine detection of long-lived 135Cs by radiometric methods is challenging. This measurement is, however, important given its significance in long-term nuclear waste storage and disposal. Furthermore, the 135Cs/137Cs ratio varies with reactor, weapon and fuel type, and accurate measurement of this ratio can therefore be used as a forensic tool in identifying the source(s) of nuclear contamination. The shorter-lived activation products 134Cs and 136Cs have a limited application but provide useful early information on fuel irradiation history and have importance in health physics.

Detection of 135Cs (and 137Cs) is achievable by mass spectrometric techniques; most commonly inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), as well as thermal ionisation (TIMS), accelerator (AMS) and resonance ionisation (RIMS) techniques. The critical issues affecting the accuracy and detection limits achievable by this technique are effective removal of barium to eliminate isobaric interferences arising from 135Ba and 137Ba, and elimination of peak tailing of stable 133Cs on 135Cs. Isobaric interferences can be removed by chemical separation, most commonly ion exchange chromatography, and/or instrumental separation using an ICP-MS equipped with a reaction cell. The removal of the peak tailing interference is dependent on the instrument used for final measurement. This review summarizes and compares the analytical procedures developed for determination of 135Cs/137Cs, with particular focus on ICP-MS detection and the methods applied to interference separation.

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Accepted/In Press date: June 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 August 2015
Published date: 26 August 2015
Organisations: Geochemistry

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Local EPrints ID: 382077
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382077
ISSN: 0003-2670
PURE UUID: c9a19900-80ac-4456-bf90-e936f659adb1

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Date deposited: 29 Sep 2015 14:47
Last modified: 16 Sep 2019 18:25

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Author: B.C. Russell
Author: Ian W. Croudace
Author: Phil E. Warwick

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