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ASTM C1255-93(2005)

ASTM C1255-93(2005)

Standard Test Method for Analysis of Uranium and Thorium in Soils by Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

2011-07-01 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

This test method was developed and the instrument calibrated using ground soils from the site of a nuclear materials plant. This test method can be used to measure the extent of contamination from uranium and thorium in ground soils. Since the detection limit of this technique (nominally 20 μg per gram) approaches typical background levels for these contaminants, the method can be used as a quick characterization of an on-site area to indicated points of contamination. Then after cleanup, EDXRF may be used to verify the elimination of contamination or other analysis methods (such as colorimetry, fluoremetry, phosphorescence, etc.) can be used if it is necessary to test for cleanup down to a required background level. This test method can also be used for the segregation of soil lots by established contamination levels during on-site construction and excavation.


1.1 This test method covers the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrochemical analysis of trace levels of uranium and thorium in soils. Any sample matrix that differs from the general ground soil composition used for calibration (that is, fertilizer or a sample of mostly rock) would have to be calibrated separately to determine the effect of the different matrix composition.

1.2 The analysis is performed after an initial drying and grinding of the sample, and the results are reported on a dry basis. The sample preparation technique used incorporates into the sample any rocks and organic material present in the soil. This test method of sample preparation differs from other techniques that involve tumbling and sieving the sample.

1.3 Linear calibration is performed over a concentration range from 20 to 1000 [mu]g per gram for uranium and thorium.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The inch-pound units in parentheses are for information only.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF); Soil; Thorium content; Uranium content
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