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Preliminary Investigation on the Rapid and Direct AMS Measurement of 129I in Environmental Samples without Chemical Separation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2016

Qi Liu*
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi’an AMS Center, Xi’an 710061, China.
Xiaolei Zhao
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China.
Xiaolin Hou
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi’an AMS Center, Xi’an 710061, China.
George Burr
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China.
Weijian Zhou
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi’an AMS Center, Xi’an 710061, China.
Yunchong Fu
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi’an AMS Center, Xi’an 710061, China.
Ning Chen
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi’an AMS Center, Xi’an 710061, China.
Luyuan Zhang
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi’an AMS Center, Xi’an 710061, China.
*
*Corresponding author. Email: liuqi@ieecas.cn.

Abstract

Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is the most sensitive method for measuring 129I in environmental samples available today, with a detection limit of about 10–15 for 129I/127I. A drawback of the technique is the time-consuming chemical separation required to prepare AMS targets from raw samples. This step significantly limits applications requiring rapid analyses and large numbers of samples, for example, in monitoring studies associated with nuclear accidents. This work introduces a direct method for 129I measurements by AMS that does not require chemical separation. In this approach, stable iodine (127I) is added to a matrix of niobium (Nb) powder and mixed with dried raw sample. This mixture is pressed directly into a sputter target for AMS analysis. Two types of environmental samples have been tested in this work, seaweed and sediment. No anomalous behavior was noted in the Cs+ sputtering behavior of the targets prepared from these materials. The 129I/127I ratios and 129I concentrations measured by this rapid method were found to be in agreement with reported values that used a conventional AMS method for the same material. Based on our findings, we expect that such rapid measurements can be applied to a wide variety of materials, in addition to seaweed and sediment, as long as the sputtering-induced adverse effects do not prevent the stable operation of the ion source. The method is especially useful for screening large numbers of samples before more precise analyses are made.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2016 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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