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Title: Simultaneous determination of gross alpha, gross beta and Ra-226 in natural water by liquid scintillation counting.
Author: Fons Castells, Jordi
Zapata García, Daniel
Tent Petrus, Joana Ma.
Llauradó i Tarragó, Montserrat
Keywords: Radioactivitat
Mostreig mediambiental
Escintil·ladors líquids
Contaminació de l'aigua
Environmental sampling
Liquid scintillators
Water pollution
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Abstract: The determination of gross alpha, gross beta and 226Ra activity in natural waters is useful in a wide range of environmental studies. Furthermore, gross alpha and gross beta parameters are included in international legislation on the quality of drinking water [Council Directive 98/83/EC].1 In this work, a low-background liquid scintillation counter (Wallac, Quantulus 1220) was used to simultaneously determine gross alpha, gross beta and 226Ra activity in natural water samples. Sample preparation involved evaporation to remove 222Rn and its short-lived decay daughters. The evaporation process concentrated the sample ten-fold. Afterwards, a sample aliquot of 8 mL was mixed with 12 mL of Ultima Gold AB scintillation cocktail in low-diffusion vials. In this study, a theoretical mathematical model based on secular equilibrium conditions between 226Ra and its short-lived decay daughters is presented. The proposed model makes it possible to determine 226Ra activity from two measurements. These measurements also allow determining gross alpha and gross beta simultaneously. To validate the proposed model, spiked samples with different activity levels for each parameter were analysed. Additionally, to evaluate the model's applicability in natural water, eight natural water samples from different parts of Spain were analysed. The eight natural water samples were also characterised by alpha spectrometry for the naturally occurring isotopes of uranium (234U, 235U and 238U), radium (224Ra and 226Ra), 210Po and 232Th. The results for gross alpha and 226Ra activity were compared with alpha spectrometry characterization, and an acceptable concordance was obtained.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 2013, vol. 125, p. 56-60
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ISSN: 0265-931X
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Enginyeria Química i Química Analítica)

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