Determination of the Concentration and Isotopic Composition of Uranium in Environmental Air Filters

    Published: Jan 1995

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    For many years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has collected monthly air-particulate filter samples from a variety of environmental monitoring stations on and off site. Historically, the concentration and isotopic composition of uranium collected on these filters were determined by isotope dilution using a 233U spike and thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). For samples containing as little as 10 ng of uranium, ICP-MS is now used to make these measurements to the required level of precision, 5% in the measured 235/238 and 233/238. Unless particular care is taken to control bias in the mass filter, variable mass bias limits accuracy to a few percent. Measurements of the minor isotopes 236 (if present) and 234 are also possible and provide useful information for identifying the source of the uranium. The advantage of ICP-MS is in rapid analysis, ≈12 min of instrument time per sample.


    uranium, ICP-MS, isotopic ratio measurements, air filters, environmental monitoring

    Author Information:

    Russ, GP
    Chemist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA

    Bazan, JM
    Chemist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA

    Committee/Subcommittee: C26.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP15985S

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