Inter laboratory comparison for 241Am determination in environmental samples.
M. Agarande, E. Barker, M. Curtis and R. Lukey
Actes du congrès ECORAD, 3-7 sept 2001, Aix en Provence, France
Radioprotection - Colloques, volume 37, C1-945/ C1-950.
241Am is an alpha emitter which originates from the successive neutron capture reactions by plutonium isotopes in a nuclear reactor: 239pU (n,gamma) --> 240Pu (n,gamma) --> 241Pu ---> 241Am. Activation products like 241Am may contribute significantly to human exposure in case of an accidental release in the environment. Therefore, this isotope is monitored together with plutonium isotopes in environmental matrices near nuclear facilities. In addition, because of its 241Pu filiation, contribution of 241Am in the environment will increase in future years.
241Am in sands was measured by three different techniques: direct gamma ray spectrometry, alpha spectrometry and sector field ICP-MS. Prior to alpha and ICP-MS measurements by isotope dilution, americium was separated from major components of the matrix and other transuranic elements by anion exchange and extraction chromatography. The results of two different laboratories are compared.