1.1 This test method covers the measurement of gamma-ray emitting radionuclides in water by means of gamma-ray spectrometry. It is applicable to nuclides emitting gamma-rays with energies greater than 20 keV. For typical counting systems and sample types, activity levels of about 40 Bq are easily measured and sensitivities as low as 0.4 Bq are found for many nuclides (1). Count rates in excess of 2000 counts per second should be avoided because of electronic limitations. High count rate samples can be accommodated by dilution or by increasing the sample to detector distance.
1.2 This test method can be used for either quantitative or relative determinations. In tracer work, the results may be expressed by comparison with an initial concentration of a given nuclide which is taken as 100%. For radioassay, the results may be expressed in terms of known nuclidic standards for the radionuclides known to be present. In addition to the quantitative measurement of gamma radioactivity, gamma spectrometry can be used for the identification of specific gamma emitters in a mixture of radionuclides. General information on radioactivity and the measurement of radiation has been published (2). Information on specific application of gamma spectrometry is also available in the literature (3). See also Practice D1066, Test Method D1943, Practice D3084, Practice D3085, Practices D3370, and Method E181.
1.3 This standard does not purport to address the safety problems, 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 limitation prior to use.
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