Standard Active Last Updated: Oct 11, 2018
ASTM C759-18

Standard Test Methods for Chemical, Mass Spectrometric, Spectrochemical, Nuclear, and Radiochemical Analysis of Nuclear-Grade Plutonium Nitrate Solutions

Significance and Use

4.1 These test methods are designed to show whether a given material meets the purchaser's specifications.

4.1.1 An assay is performed to determine whether the material has the specified plutonium content.

4.1.2 Determination of the isotopic content of the plutonium in the plutonium-nitrate solution is made to establish whether the effective fissile content is in compliance with the purchaser's specifications.

4.1.3 Impurity content is determined by a variety of methods to ensure that the maximum concentration limit of specified impurities is not exceeded. Determination of impurities is also required for calculation of the equivalent boron content (EBC).

4.2 Fitness for Purpose of Safeguards and Nuclear Safety Applications—Methods intended for use in safeguards and nuclear safety applications shall meet the requirements specified by Guide C1068 for use in such applications.


1.1 These test methods cover procedures for the chemical, mass spectrometric, spectrochemical, nuclear, and radiochemical analysis of nuclear-grade plutonium nitrate solutions to determine compliance with specifications.

1.2 The analytical procedures appear in the following order:




Plutonium by Controlled-Potential Coulometry


Plutonium by Amperometric Titration with Iron(II)


Plutonium by Diode Array Spectrophotometry


Free Acid by Titration in an Oxalate Solution

8 to 15

Free Acid by Iodate Precipitation-Potentiometric Titration
  Test Method

16 to 22

Uranium by Arsenazo I Spectrophotometric Test Method

23 to 33

Thorium by Thorin Spectrophotometric Test Method

34 to 42

Iron by 1,10-Phenanthroline Spectrophotometric Test Method

43 to 50

Impurities by ICP-AES


Chloride by Thiocyanate Spectrophotometric Test Method

51 to 58

Fluoride by Distillation-Spectrophotometric Test Method

59 to 66

Sulfate by Barium Sulfate Turbidimetric Test Method

67 to 74

Isotopic Composition by Mass Spectrometry

75 to 76

Plutonium-238 Isotopic Abundance by Alpha Spectrometry


Americium-241 by Extraction and Gamma Counting

77 to 85

Americium-241 by Gamma Counting

86 to 94

Gamma-Emitting Fission Products, Uranium, and Thorium by Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy

94 to 102

Rare Earths by Copper Spark Spectrochemical Test Method

103 to 105

Tungsten, Niobium (Columbium), and Tantalum by Spectro-
 chemical Test Method

106 to 114

Sample Preparation for Spectrographic Analysis for General

115 to 118

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific safeguard and safety hazard statements, see Section 6.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 12.01
Developed by Subcommittee: C26.05
Pages: 18
DOI: 10.1520/C0759-18
ICS Code: 27.120.30