Advances in analytical control

Liquid scintillation (LS) spectrometry is the most widely used measurement method, and allows the simultaneous identification of beta-, alpha — and gamma-ray emitters, the decay schemes of which include the emission of low — energy electrons. A great deal of positive practical experience has been gained in the use of LS instruments for monitoring technological RAW and environmental samples of different composition and origin [32, 33]. The method is also sensitive enough to allow the rapid analysis of drinking water.

LS spectrometry is a rapid and simple alternative to labour-intensive alpha-spectrometric methods when specific isotopic analysis is required. With a minimum sample preparation stage, the radionuclide activity values can be obtained immediately after measurements are carried out (as with gamma-spectrometry) or, at least, it can be reliably determined whether the required levels for specific radionuclides have been exceeded. The spectrum obtained is processed with the help of RadSpectraDec software (Plate III (between pages 448 and 449)).

LS spectrometric analysis is used in two principal applications:

1. as part of RAW management technology for monitoring the radionu­clide content by the screening method, without radiochemical preparation;

2. [n radio-ecological studies, such as: monitoring of natural (Ra, Rn, U, Th, 210Pb, 210Po) and industrial (3H, 90Sr, 241Pu) radionuclides in the envi­ronment at background levels, using radiochemical preparation of samples; and control of industrial radionuclides (3H, 85Kr, 89Sr, 90Sr, 99Tc, 129I, 234U, 238U, 241Pu) in releases and discharges from facilities, using both the rapid method and the radiochemical preparation of samples.

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