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Comparison of the Quantulus 1220 and 300SL Liquid Scintillation Counters for the Analysis of 222Rn in Groundwater

  • Kim, Hyuncheol (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Jung, Yoonhee (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Lee, Wanno (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Choi, Guen-Sik (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Chung, Kun Ho (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Kang, Mun Ja (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
  • Received : 2015.06.15
  • Accepted : 2016.10.18
  • Published : 2016.12.31

Abstract

Background: Liquid scintillation counters (LSCs) are commonly used as an analytical method for detecting $^{222}Rn$ in groundwater because they involve a simple sample pretreatment and allow high throughout with an autosampler. The Quantulus 1220 is the best-selling LSC in Korea, but its production was stopped. Recently, a new type of LSC, the 300SL, was introduced. In this study, the 300SL was compared with the Quantulus 1220 in order to evaluate the ability of each apparatus to detect $^{222}Rn$ in groundwater. Materials and Methods: The Quantulus 1220 and 300SL were used to detect the presence of $^{222}Rn$. Radon gas was extracted from a groundwater sample using a water-immiscible cocktail in a LSC vial. The optimal analytical conditions for each LSC were determined using a $^{222}Rn$ calibration source prepared with a $^{226}Ra$ source. Results and Discussion: The optimal pulse shape analysis level for alpha and beta separation was 80 for the Quantulus 1220, and the corresponding pulse length index was 12 in the 300SL. The counting efficiency of the Quantulus 1220 for alpha emissions was similar to that of the 300SL, but the background count rate of the Quantulus 1220 was 10 times lower than that of the 300SL. The minimum detectable activity of the Quantulus 1220 was $0.08Bq{\cdot}L^{-1}$, while that of the 300SL was $0.20Bq{\cdot}L^{-1}$. The analytical results regarding $^{222}Rn$ in groundwater were less than 10% different between these LSCs. Conclusion: The 300SL is an LSC that is comparable to the Quantulus 1220 for detecting $^{222}Rn$ in groundwater. Both LSCs can be applied to determine the levels of $^{222}Rn$ in groundwater under the management of the Ministry of Environment.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning

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