Standard Guide for Determination of Neptunium-237 in Soil
5.1 A soil sampling and analysis program provides a direct means of determining the concentration and distribution of radionuclides in soil. The presence and extent of neptunium-237 is of particular interest because it is one of the more mobile transuranics in terms of migration and plant uptake. Since soil is an integrator and a reservoir on long-lived radionuclides, and serves as an intermediary in several pathways of potential importance to humans, knowledge of the concentration of neptunium-237 in soil is essential.
1.1 This guide covers the determination of neptunium-237 in soil by means of radiochemical separations and alpha spectrometry. This guide provides options in the selection of sample preparation, separation, and measurement. Although neptunium-237 is not a component of global fallout, it is a product of production reactors and spent fuel processing. This guide is designed for analysis of ten grams of soil previously collected and treated in accordance with Practices C998 and C999. Larger-size samples of environmental soil may also be analyzed, as long as the concentrations of interferences such as uranium and thorium are at or near environmental concentrations. Depending on the choice of a sample dissolution method, all chemical forms of neptunium may not be completely solubilized. This guide should allow the determination of neptunium-237 concentrations from sub becquerel per gram levels to applicable standards depending on count time, sample size, detector efficiency, background, and tracer yield.
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. Specific precautionary statements are given in Section 9.
1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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