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Significance and Use
This test method was developed for measuring tritium in water to determine if the concentration exceeds the regulatory statutes of drinking water. This test method also is applicable for the determination of tritium concentration in water as required by technical specifications governing the operations of nuclear power facilities. With suitable counting technique, sample size, and counting time a detection limit of less than 37 Bq/L (1000 pCi/L) is attainable by liquid scintillation.
1.1 This test method covers the determination of tritium in drinking water by liquid scintillation counting of the tritium beta particle activity.
1.2 This test method is used successfully with drinking water. It is the user's responsibility to ensure the validity of this test method for untested water matrices.
1.3 The tritium concentrations, which can be measured by this test method utilizing currently available liquid scintillation instruments, range from less than 0.037 Bq/mL (1 pCi/mL) to 555 Bq/mL (15 000 pCi/mL) for a 10-mL sample aliquot. Higher tritium concentrations can be measured by diluting or using smaller sample aliquots, or both.
1.4 The maximum contaminant level for tritium in drinking water as given by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NIPDWR) is 0.740 Bq/mL (20 pCi/mL). The NIPDWR lists a required detection limit for tritium in drinking water of 0.037 Bq/mL (1 pCi/mL), meaning that drinking water supplies, where required, should be monitored for tritium at a sensitivity of 0.037 Bq/mL (1 pCi/mL). In Appendix X1, Eq X1.3 is given for determining the necessary counting time to meet the required sensitivity for drinking water monitoring.
1.5 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.
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