Establishing of a rapid analytical method on uranium isotopic ratios for the environmental monitoring around nuclear facilities

원자력 시설 주변 환경 감시를 위한 토양 중 우라늄 동위원소 신속 분석법 확립

  • Park, Ji-Young (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Lim, Jong-Myoung (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Lee, Hyun-Woo (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Lee, Wanno (Environmental Radioactivity Assessment Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
  • 박지영 (한국원자력연구원 원자력환경실) ;
  • 임종명 (한국원자력연구원 원자력환경실) ;
  • 이현우 (한국원자력연구원 원자력환경실) ;
  • 이완로 (한국원자력연구원 원자력환경실)
  • Received : 2018.05.11
  • Accepted : 2018.06.01
  • Published : 2018.06.25


The uranium isotopic ratio in environmental samples around nuclear facilities is important because it reveals information regarding illegal activities or anthropogenic pollution. Determination of uranium isotopes, however, is a challenging task requiring much labor and time because of the complex separation procedures and lengthy process. In this study, a rapid determination method for uranium isotopes in environmental samples was developed using. The sample was completely decomposed using the alkali fusion method. The separation procedure using extraction chromatography (UTEVA) was simplified in a single step without any further removal process for Si and major matrix elements. The established method can be completed within 3 h from sample dissolution to ICP-MS measurement. Most matrix elements and uranium isotopes in the soil samples were well separated and purified. Five types of were used to assess the method's accuracy and precision for a rapid uranium analysis method. The analytical accuracy for all CRM samples ranged from 95.1 % to 97.8 %, and the relative standard deviation was below 3.9 %. From the analytical results, one may draw conclusions that the evaluated method for uranium isotopes using alkali-fusion, the extraction chromatography process, and ICP-MS measurements is fast and fairly reliable owing to its recovering efficiencies. Thus, it is expected that the evaluated method can contribute to the improvement of environmental monitoring ability.


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