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Issue 10, 2003
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A practical approach to determination of low concentration uranium isotope ratios in small volumes of urine

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Abstract

Thermal ionization-mass spectrometry (TIMS) has long been the benchmark technique for determining uranium isotope ratios. Instrumentation improvements and application optimizations on inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments have enabled acquisition of data approaching the accuracy and precision obtained using TIMS. However, problems remain for urine uranium ICP-MS isotope ratio analyses at low concentrations. Microwave digestion of urine to eliminate organic interferences, solid phase chelation extraction of actinides from the matrix, use of a desolvating introduction system, and gas flow optimizations to minimize mass fractionation were employed to develop a magnetic sector ICP-MS method sensitive enough to accurately measure urine uranium isotope ratios at concentrations below 10 ng L−1 in 2 mL urine with little or no correction. This method was used to determine isotope ratios for internally and externally prepared natural and depleted uranium-spiked urine. Ratio accuracy obtained from triplicate digestions, preparations, and analyses were within 1% of expected values characterized or calculated from sources over concentrations ranging from 5 to 500 ng L−1 total uranium.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 May 2003, accepted on 09 Jul 2003, published on 24 Jul 2003 and first published online on 24 Jul 2003


Article type: Technical Note
DOI: 10.1039/B305515A
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2003,18, 1289-1292
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    A practical approach to determination of low concentration uranium isotope ratios in small volumes of urine

    R. Steven Pappas, B. G. Ting and D. C. Paschal, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2003, 18, 1289
    DOI: 10.1039/B305515A

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