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Automated Separation of Uranium and Plutonium from Environmental Swipe Samples for Multiple Collector Inductively Coupled Pla...

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Analytical Chemistry
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A fully automated method for the separation of low-concentration uranium from plutonium in environmental swipe samples has been developed. The offline chromatography system features renewable 1 mL Eichrom TEVA and UTEVA column generation from bulk resin slurry. Discrete fractions of the separated actinides are delivered into user defined vials for future analysis. Clean room background levels were achieved outside of a cleanroom environment with this method. Purification of uranium and plutonium from various sample matrixes and at various concentrations was successful. Major and minor isotope ratios for both elements were measured via multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and were in good agreement with certified reference values. Validation of the separation method was conducted on archived environmental samples and agreed with values previously reported using standard column chemistry.