||Simultaneous Determination of Americium and Curium in Soil.
Hiatt, Michael H. ;
Hahn, Paul B. ;
||Environmental Monitoring and Support Lab., Las Vegas, NV.
Soil analysis ;
Radioactive contaminants ;
Chemical analysis ;
Ion exchanging ;
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A method is presented for the routine determination of americium and curium in 10 g of soil. The soil is dissolved with a mixture of nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid. Insoluble sulfates and phosphates are metathesized with boiling sodium hydroxide solutions. Plutonium and iron are sorbed on anion-exchange resin from 9 M hydrochloric acid after which the plutonium can be eluted and further purified for electrodeposition. Americium and curium are purified by cation-exchange and liquid-liquid chromatography. Mean recoveries of americium and curium were 58% and 56% respectively, for prepared soil samples. The minimum detectable activity for the individual nuclides is 0.002 pCi/g. For americium and curium activities of 0.1 to 1.0 pCi/g, the relative standard deviations for replicate analysis ranged from 3% to 8%. The deviations of the means from their known values were generally within + or - 3%.