RAPID DETERMINATION OF ACTINIDES IN URINE BY INDUCTIVELY-COUPLED PLASMA MASS SPECTROMETRY AND ALPHA SPECTROMETRY: A HYBRID APPROACH Page: 4 of 27
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of the isotopes. Even small quantities of actinides can cause can cause serious health hazards.
The measurement of actinides in urine is not only important for occupational health
monitoring but also in response to a radiological emergency event, such as the nuclear
accident at Chernobyl or detonation of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) by terrorists.
There is an increasing need to develop faster analytical methods with high sample
throughput for emergency response, including emergency urine samples . Rapid
methods using extraction chromatography and alpha spectrometry have been reported by
this laboratory for both emergency water and urine samples [2, 3, 4]. Inductively-coupled
plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a versatile technique for elemental and isotopic
analysis. The measurement time for sequential assay by ICP-MS is typically shorter than
alpha spectrometry, although the alpha spectrometry measurements may be performed
simultaneously with large numbers of detectors. ICP-MS is particularly effective for
longer-lived actinide isotopes, where alpha spectrometry works well for short-lived
actinide isotopes. Alpha spectrometry cannot differentiate between the alpha isotopes
with overlapping alpha energies, such as 239Pu and 240Pu, which are easily differentiated
by ICP-MS. Actinide determination by ICP-MS can be hampered by isobaric, polyatomic
interferences and signal suppression  Both measurement techniques may require
separation of interferences to determine actinide isotopes accurately, depending on the
sample matrix and the detection limit required.
A large number of flow injection techniques coupled with ICP-MS
instrumentation have been reported. Hang et al using TRU Resin to separate actinides,
but this work lacked the selectivity needed to measure actinides at ultra trace levels in
urine, due to overlapping of actinide peaks  Epov at al reported an automated
preconcentration system using TRU Resin, but indicated that the separation of uranium
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Maxwell, S. & Jones, V. RAPID DETERMINATION OF ACTINIDES IN URINE BY INDUCTIVELY-COUPLED PLASMA MASS SPECTROMETRY AND ALPHA SPECTROMETRY: A HYBRID APPROACH, article, May 27, 2009; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc934926/m1/4/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.