Radioanalytical chemistry

 

 

The Radioanalytical Chemistry Capability (RACC) combines radioanalytical chemistry and medium level gamma-ray spectrometry and comprises four radiochemistry laboratories and two counting facilities. 

 

This capability has expertise in the measurement of natural and anthropogenic radionuclides, and analysis of environmental samples from pristine, human impacted and contaminated environments. 

RACC aims to develop and maintain specialist radioanalytical and experimental facilities utilising nuclear techniques to support ANSTO’s core activities and its stakeholders and to apply these techniques and associated expertise to topics related to releases of radionuclides into the environment, nuclear fuel cycle and other research areas involving quantification of radionuclides at or above typical environmental levels.

 

 

Further details regarding capabilities and sample requirements can be found below. You are advised to discuss your proposal with the appropriate ANSTO Contact Scientist before submitting your proposal as they will help you make the correct capability selection.

 

 

Capability selections

 

  • Gamma spectrometry (naturals and anthropogenics) 
  • Radioanalytical Chemistry/Alpha Spectrometry (U, Th, Pu or Am isotopes):
    • Tier 1 - single elemental/isotopic analysis 
    • Tier 2 - double elemental/isotopic analysis 
    • Tier 3 - triple elemental/isotopic analysis 
    • Tier 4 - full suite analysis
  • Radioanalytical Chemistry/Alpha Spectrometry/Liquid Scintillation Analysis (U, Th, Pu or Am isotopes and Sr-90) Tier 5 - full suite analysis and Sr-90
  • Radioanalytical Chemistry/Liquid Scintillation Analysis (Sr-90) Tier 1 - Sr-90
  • Radioanalytical Chemistry/Liquid Scintillation Analysis (Tritium) Tier 1 - tritium on freshwater and leachate
  • Radioanalytical chemical method development (alpha and/or beta emitters)
  • Potentiometric measurements - automated:
    • pH static and dynamic titrations
    • Point of zero charge determinations
    • Soil titrations
    • Isotope reversibility study
  • Determination of the distribution of contaminant between aqueous phase and geomedia. Distribution coefficient (Kd) determination using batch sorption methods
  • Measurement of zeta potential and particle size of concentrated colloidal suspensions; Zeta potential and particle size determination.

 

 

Gamma-ray spectrometry (naturals and anthropogenics) 

 

High Purity Germanium (HPGe) crystal gamma-ray spectrometers are used to quantify gamma emitting radionuclides in waters and environmental solids such as soil, sediment, vegetation and biota. Solid samples must be dry and homogeneous and the minimum sample mass is 50 grams. Water samples must be homogeneous and at least 500 mL in volume.  Any additional information such as elemental composition, density or any other radiological/radiochemical data should be provided. 

 

 

Radioanalytical chemistry techniques 

 

These techniques are for the separation of between one to five radionuclide fractions, extracted from a single environmental solid (soil, sediment, vegetation and biota) or water sample, and measured using alpha spectrometry, liquid scintillation analysis or a combination of both. 

 

Our standard set of radionuclides include: H-3, Sr-90, U-234, U-235, U-238, Th-230, Th-232, Pu-238, Pu-239+240, Am-241. Other radionuclides by special request include: P-32, Ra-226, Ra-228, U-232, U-233, Th-228, Th-229, Pu-236, Pu-242, and Am-243. A method development capability is also available for quantification of other alpha or beta emitting radionuclides not listed above. 

 

Solid samples must be dry and/or ashed and homogeneous and the minimum sample size is 10 grams. Water samples must be homogeneous and at least 100 mL in volume. Any additional information such as elemental composition, density or any other radiological/radiochemical data should be provided. 

 

 

Potentiometric measurements, distribution coefficient (Kd) determination and Zeta potential and particle size determination

 

These techniques and associated instrumentation have limited availability and are primarily for ANSTO researchers and/or collaborators with whom we have an ongoing collaboration. 

 

 


 

For further information please contact:

 

Jennifer Harrison 

Phone: +61 2 9717 3919 

jennifer.harrison@ansto.gov.au

 

Lida Mokhber Shahin 

Phone: +61 2 9717 3419 

lida.mokhber-shahin@ansto.gov.au