Concurrent determination of (237)Np and Pu isotopes using ICP-MS: analysis of NIST environmental matrix standard reference materials 4357, 1646a, and 2702.

Journal of environmental radioactivity

PubMedID: 25644752

Matteson BS, Hanson SK, Miller JL, Oldham WJ. Concurrent determination of (237)Np and Pu isotopes using ICP-MS: analysis of NIST environmental matrix standard reference materials 4357, 1646a, and 2702. J Environ Radioact. 2015;142C62-67.
An optimized method was developed to analyze environmental soil and sediment samples for (237)Np, (239)Pu, and (240)Pu by ICP-MS using a (242)Pu isotope dilution standard. The high yield, short time frame required for analysis, and the commercial availability of the (242)Pu tracer are significant advantages of the method. Control experiments designed to assess method uncertainty, including variation in inter-element fractionation that occurs during the purification protocol, suggest that the overall precision for measurements of (237)Np is typically on the order of ±5%. Measurements of the (237)Np concentration in a Peruvian Soil blank (NIST SRM 4355) spiked with a known concentration of (237)Np tracer confirmed the accuracy of the method, agreeing well with the expected value. The method has been used to determine neptunium and plutonium concentrations in several environmental matrix standard reference materials available from NIST: SRM 4357 (Radioactivity Standard), SRM 1646a (Estuarine Sediment) and SRM 2702 (Inorganics in Marine Sediment).