The Ames Laboratory Facility for the Emission Spectroscopic Study of Alpha-Emitting Radionuclei: The Design and Operating History

    Published: Jan 1987

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    A commercially available inductively coupled plasma (ICP) radio-frequency power generator was adapted to operate within a stainless steel glove box and was used for optical emission spectroscopic studies of hazardous alpha-emitting materials. This ICP apparatus has been successfully used to determine plutonium in complex chemical mixtures and to analyze plutonium isotopically in solution.

    The finely divided particulates generated by the ICP emission source were removed by filtration of the exhausted gas stream via a train of three high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. The light from the glove-box-enclosed ICP was passed through a window set into a common wall to a separately ventilated spectrometer laboratory. Testing of the apparatus with nonhazardous materials revealed design flaws that were easily corrected prior to studying the emission spectroscopy of plutonium. An unnoticed error in construction that caused a serious problem after the glove box had become contaminated was less easily remedied.


    plasma spectroscopy, glove box, inductively coupled plasma, plutonium, high-resolution spectroscopy

    Author Information:

    Edelson, MC
    Chemist and associate chemist, Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

    DeKalb, EL
    Chemist and associate chemist, Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

    Committee/Subcommittee: C26.09

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19675S

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