SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1995

Applications of Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry to the Determination of Actinides and Fission Products in High Level Radioactive Wastes at the Savannah River Site


Four years of experience in applying inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to the analysis of actinides and fission products in high level waste (HLW) samples at the Savannah River Site has led to the development of a number of techniques to aid in the interpretation of the mass spectral data. Our goal has been to develop rapid and reliable analytical procedures that provide the necessary chemical and isotopic information to answer the process needs of the customers. Techniques that have been developed include the writing of computer software to strip the experimental data from the instrument data files into spreadsheets or into a spectral data processing package so that the raw mass spectra can be overlain for comparison or plotted with higher output resolution. These procedures have been applied to problems ranging from the analysis of the high level waste tanks to reactor moderator water as well as environmental samples. Criticality safety analyses in some HLW waste treatment processes depend upon actinide concentration and isotopic information generated by ICP-MS, particularly in tanks with high concentrations of 137Cs and 90Sr. Experimental results for a number of these applications will be presented. These procedures represent a considerable saving in time and expense as compared to conventional chemical separation followed by radiochemical analyses, as well as decreased radiation exposure for the analysts.

Author Information

Kinard, WF
College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
Bibler, NE
Westinghouse Savannah River Technology Center, Aiken, SC
Coleman, CJ
Westinghouse Savannah River Technology Center, Aiken, SC
Dewberry, RA
Westinghouse Savannah River Technology Center, Aiken, SC
Boyce, WT
Westinghouse Savannah River Technology Center, Aiken, SC
Wyrick, SB
Science Applications International, Gaithersburg, MD
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Developed by Committee: C26
Pages: 48–58
DOI: 10.1520/STP15979S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5315-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2034-1