Standard Practice for NaI(Tl) Gamma-Ray Spectrometry of Water
5.1 Gamma-ray spectrometry is used to identify radionuclides and to make quantitative measurements. Use of a computer and a library of standard spectra will be required for quantitative analysis of complex mixtures of nuclides.
5.2 Variation of the physical geometry of the sample and its relationship with the detector will produce both qualitative and quantitative variations in the gamma-ray spectrum. To adequately account for these geometry effects, calibrations are designed to duplicate all conditions including source-to-detector distance, sample shape and size, and sample matrix encountered when samples are measured. This means that a complete set of library standards may be required for each geometry and sample to detector distance combination that will be used.
5.3 Since some spectrometry systems are calibrated at many discrete distances from the detector, a wide range of activity levels can be measured on the same detector. For high-level samples, extremely low efficiency geometries may be used. Quantitative measurements can be made accurately and precisely when high activity level samples are placed at distances of 1 m or more from the detector.
5.4 Electronic problems, such as erroneous deadtime correction, loss of resolution, and random summing, may be avoided by keeping the gross count rate below 2000 counts per second and also keeping the deadtime of the analyzer below 5 %. Total counting time is governed by the activity of the sample, the detector source distance, and the acceptable Poisson counting uncertainty.
1.1 This practice covers the measurement of radionuclides in water by means of gamma-ray spectrometry. It is applicable to nuclides emitting gamma-rays with energies greater than 50 keV. For typical counting systems and sample types, activity levels of about 40 Bq (1080 pCi) are easily measured and sensitivities of about 0.4 Bq (11 pCi) are found for many nuclides (1-10).2 Count rates in excess of 2000 counts per second should be avoided because of electronic limitations. High count rate samples can be accommodated by dilution or by increasing the sample to detector distance.
1.2 This practice can be used for either quantitative or relative determinations. In tracer work, the results may be expressed by comparison with an initial concentration of a given nuclide which is taken as 100 %. For radioassay, the results may be expressed in terms of known nuclidic standards for the radionuclides known to be present. In addition to the quantitative measurement of gamma-ray activity, gamma-ray spectrometry can be used for the identification of specific gamma-ray emitters in a mixture of radionuclides but that ability is limited when using low energy resolution Na(Tl) detectors as compared to High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detectors. General information on radioactivity and the measurement of radiation has been published (11 and 12). Information on specific application of gamma-ray spectrometry is also available in the literature (13-16).
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are included for information only and are not considered standard.
1.4 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.5 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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