Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010
ASTM C1221-92(2004)

Standard Test Method for Nondestructive Analysis of Special Nuclear Materials in Homogeneous Solutions by Gamma-Ray Spectrometry

Significance and Use

This test method is a nondestructive means of determining the nuclide concentration of a solution for special nuclear material accountancy, nuclear safety, and process control.

It is assumed that the nuclide to be analyzed is in a homogeneous solution (Practice C 1168).

The transmission correction makes the test method independent of matrix and useful over several orders of magnitude of nuclide concentrations. However, a typical configuration will normally span only two to three orders of magnitude.

The test method assumes that the sample-detector geometry is the same for all measured items. This can be accomplished by requiring that the liquid height in the sidelooking geometry exceeds the detector field of view defined by the collimator. For the uplooking geometry, a fixed sample fill height must be maintained and vials of identical radii must be used unless the vial radius exceeds the field of view defined by the collimator.

Since gamma-ray systems can be automated, the test method can be rapid, reliable, and not labor intensive.

This test method may be applicable to in-line or off-line situations.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of the concentration of gamma-ray emitting special nuclear materials dissolved in homogeneous solutions. The test method corrects for gamma-ray attenuation by the sample and its container by measurement of the transmission of a beam of gamma rays from an external source (Refs. (1), (2), and (3)).

1.2 Two sample geometries, slab and cylinder, are considered. The sample container that determines the geometry may be either a removable or a fixed geometry container. This test method is limited to sample containers having walls or a top and bottom of equal transmission through which the gamma rays from the external transmission correction source must pass.

1.3 This test method is typically applied to radionuclide concentrations ranging from a few milligrams per litre to several hundred grams per litre. The assay range will be a function of the specific activity of the nuclide of interest, the physical characteristics of the sample container, counting equipment considerations, assay gamma-ray energies, sample matrix, gamma-ray branching ratios, and interferences.

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 and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific hazards, see Section 9.

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Book of Standards Volume: 12.01
Developed by Subcommittee: C26.10
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.1520/C1221-92R04
ICS Code: 27.120.30