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ASTM C1163-14

ASTM C1163-14

Standard Practice for Mounting Actinides for Alpha Spectrometry Using Neodymium Fluoride

2016-12-27 /Active
Significance and Use:

5.1 The determination of actinides by alpha spectrometry is an essential function of many environmental and other programs. Alpha spectrometry allows the identification and quantification of most alpha-emitting actinides. Although numerous separation methods are used, the final sample preparation technique has historically been by electrodeposition (Practice C1284). However, electrodeposition may have some drawbacks, such as time required, incompatibility with prior chemistry, thick deposits, and low recoveries. These problems may be minimized by using the neodymium fluoride coprecipitation method whose performance is well documented (1-6).4 To a lesser extent cerium fluoride has been used (7) but is not addressed in this practice.

5.2 The sample mounting technique described in this practice is rapid, adds an additional purification step, since only those elements that form insoluble fluorides are mounted, and the sample and filter media can be dissolved and remounted if problems occur. The recoveries are better and resolution approaches normal in electrodeposited samples. Recoveries are sufficiently high that for survey work, if quantitative recoveries are not necessary, tracers can be omitted. Drawbacks to this technique include use of very hazardous hydrofluoric acid and the possibility of a non-reproducible and ill-defined counting geometry from filters that are not flat and may not be suitable for long retention. Also, although the total turn around time for coprecipitation may be less than for electrodeposition, coprecipitation requires more time and attention from the analyst.


1.1 This practice covers the preparation of separated fractions of actinides for alpha spectrometry. It is applicable to any of the actinides that can be dissolved in dilute hydrochloric acid. Examples of applicable samples would be the final elution from an ion exchange separation or the final strip from a solvent extraction separation.2

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.3 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. For a specific hazard statement, see Section 9.

actinides; alpha particle; alpha spectrometry; cerium fluoride; energy resolution; neodymium fluoride
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