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Solvent extraction using tributyl phosphate in methyl isobutyl ketone is employed to separate the uranium matrix from the trace impurities originally present in uranium. The impurities are separated quantitatively into the acidic aqueous phase, which may then be analyzed by conventional spectroscopic techniques, including flame and flameless atomic absorption. An effective concentration of impurity levels over those present in the original sample may also be obtained by incorporating the aqueous phase into a gallium nitrate solution, which is converted to a gallium oxide matrix containing the impurities, which are then analyzed by emission spectroscopy. The method provides reasonable precision and accuracy, plus increased sensitivity when the impurities are concentrated in the gallium oxide matrix.
uranium impurities, uranium separation, emission spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, analytical techniques, trace constituents, metals
Chemist, Spectrochemistry Section, New Brunswick Laboratory, U.S. Department of EnergyInternational Atomic Energy Agency, ArgonneVienna, Ill.
Chief, Spectrochemistry Section, New Brunswick Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne, Ill.