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Optimization of uranium and plutonium separations using TEVA and UTEVA cartridges for MC-ICP-MS analysis of environmental swipe samples

Metzger, Shalina C., Rogers, Kayron T., Bostick, Debra A., McBay, Eddy H., Ticknor, Brian W., Manard, Benjamin T., Hexel, Cole R.
Talanta 2019 v.198 pp. 257-262
forensic sciences, mass spectrometry, plutonium, reference standards, resins, uranium
The analysis of environmental swipe samples for ultra-trace uranium (U) and plutonium (Pu) determinations is essential in the nuclear safeguards community. While mass spectrometry techniques for U and Pu detection continually improve, established separation methods are seldom reevaluated. Currently, actinide separations within the forensics community predominantly employ either Eichrom TEVA® or UTEVA® resins. The direct optimization of U and Pu separations utilizing both resins has not been widely reported. Here, several methods were explored with goals of increasing analyte recovery, acquiring cleaner blanks, and improving the separation efficiency of ultra-trace levels of U and Pu from environmental swipe samples. The optimized separation methodology of U and Pu was examined using certified reference materials and archived environmental swipe samples.