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Measurement of 239Pu in urine samples at ultra-trace levels using a 1 MV compact AMS system

AuthorsHernández-Mendoza, Héctor; Chamizo, Elena ; Yllera, Abel; García-León, Manuel ; Delgado, Antonio
Issue Date2010
CitationNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 268(7-8): 1331-1333 (2010)
AbstractRoutine bioassay monitoring of Pu intake in exposed workers of research and nuclear industry is usually performed by alpha spectrometry. This technique involves large sample volumes of urine and time-consuming preparative and counting protocols. Compact accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facilities make feasible the determination of ultra low-level Pu activity concentrations and Pu isotopic ratios in biological samples (blood, urine and feces), being a rapid and cost-effective measurement technique. The plutonium results in urine samples presented here have been obtained on the 1 MV compact AMS system sited at the Centro Nacional de Aceleradores (CNA), in Seville, Spain. In this work, a different methodological approach has been developed alternative to the >classical> preparation of urine samples for alpha spectrometry. The procedure avoids the Pu precipitation step, and involves acid sample evaporation and acid digestion in a microwave oven. Finally, purification of plutonium was achieved by using chromatography columns filled up with BioRad AG1X2 anion exchange resin (Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.). The total time needed for analysis is about 10 h, unlike the >classical> methods based on alpha spectrometry which need about 1 week. At present, it has been demonstrated that this method allows quantifying 239Pu activity concentrations in urine of, at least, 30 μBq (13 fg 239Pu). We can conclude that the procedure would be suitable to perform in vitro routine bioassay measurements. Moreover, the innovative application of AMS opens new and interesting analytical alternatives in this field. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.nimb.2009.10.166
issn: 0168-583X
Appears in Collections:(CNA) Artículos
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