Determination of plutonium and its isotopic ratio in marine sediment samples using quadrupole ICP-MS with the shield torch system under normal plasma conditions

Zheng, Jian; Yamada, Masatoshi; Wang, Zhongliang; Aono, Tatsuo; Kusakabe, Masashi
June 2004
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jun2004, Vol. 379 Issue 3, p532
Academic Journal
An analytical method for determining 239Pu and 240Pu in marine sediment samples, which uses quadrupole ICP-MS, was developed in this work. A simple anion-exchange chromatography system was employed for the separation and purification of Pu from the sample matrix. A sufficient decontamination factor of 1.4×104 for U, which interferes with the determination of 239Pu, was achieved. High sensitivity Pu determination was obtained, which led to an extremely low concentration detection limit of ~8 fg/ml (0.019 mBq/ml for 239Pu; 0.071 mBq/ml for 240Pu) in a sample solution, or an absolute detection limit of 42 fg in a 5 ml sample solution, by using the shield torch technique. Analytical results for the determination of the 239+240Pu and the 240Pu/239Pu ratio in IAEA 368 (ocean sediment) reference material indicated that the accuracy of the method was satisfactory. The method developed was successfully applied to a study of Pu behavior in the sediments from Sagami Bay, Japan. The observed high 240Pu/239Pu ratio in the sediment core indicated that there was additional Pu input derived from close-in fallout in addition to the global fallout.


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