Isotopic analysis of uranium in tree bark by ICP mass spectrometry: A strategy for assessment of airborne contamination

R. Ma, D. Bellis, C. W. McLeod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Isotopic analysis of uranium in tree bark by ICP mass spectrometry is proposed as a new measurement strategy for monitoring airborne contamination and for discrimination of nuclear and nonnuclear emission sources. A quadrupole-based ICP mass spectrometer equipped with a microconcentric nebulizer and membrane desolvator was used to provide high-sensitivity measurement. The limit of detection for uranium (238U) was 0.004 ng L-1. Measurement precision (235U/238U) was between 0.2 and 0.5% RSD for isotopic SRMs (U005 and U015; concentration, 1μg L-1) and ranged from 0.4 to 3.1% RSD for tree bark extracts (U concentration, 0.03-0.08 μg L-1). Bark samples collected from the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire (U.K.) exhibited a natural 235U/238U isotope ratio value (0.0072) whereas samples from Sellafield, West Cumbria (U.K.) showed depletion in 235U (235U/238U = 0.0053-0.0064).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4878-4881
Number of pages4
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume72
Issue number20
Early online date8 Sep 2000
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes

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