SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1987

The Ames Laboratory Facility for the Emission Spectroscopic Study of Alpha-Emitting Radionuclei: The Design and Operating History


A commercially available inductively coupled plasma (ICP) radio-frequency power generator was adapted to operate within a stainless steel glove box and was used for optical emission spectroscopic studies of hazardous alpha-emitting materials. This ICP apparatus has been successfully used to determine plutonium in complex chemical mixtures and to analyze plutonium isotopically in solution.

The finely divided particulates generated by the ICP emission source were removed by filtration of the exhausted gas stream via a train of three high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. The light from the glove-box-enclosed ICP was passed through a window set into a common wall to a separately ventilated spectrometer laboratory. Testing of the apparatus with nonhazardous materials revealed design flaws that were easily corrected prior to studying the emission spectroscopy of plutonium. An unnoticed error in construction that caused a serious problem after the glove box had become contaminated was less easily remedied.

Author Information

Edelson, MC
Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
DeKalb, EL
Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
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Developed by Committee: C26
Pages: 83–94
DOI: 10.1520/STP19675S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5013-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0951-3