Analytical performance of different X-ray spectroscopic techniques for the environmental monitoring of the recultivated uranium mine site

A. Alsecz, J. Osán, S. Kurunczi, B. Alföldy, A. Várhegyi, S. Török

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One uranium deposit exists in Hungary, with continuous radiological monitoring of the site. Nuclear spectroscopical methods are well established in order to study the problem concerning radionuclides. However, very limited information is available on the distribution and chemical form of uranium in the tailings sludge. In order to solve this complex analytical problem, a combination of different analytical methods is necessary. One of the most applied methods for studying the major elemental composition of particulate samples is electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). However, uranium and its daughter elements are often present only at trace amounts in the particles, below detection limit of EPMA. For most actinides that are long-lived radionuclides, microbeam X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) has superior sensitivity to determine elements in microparticles. Detection limits and applicability of EPMA and laboratory μ-XRF are discussed for localization of uranium-rich particles in the inhomogeneous tailings material. Laboratory μ-XRF provided an efficient way to identify these particles that can be easily relocated for further non-destructive microchemical investigations. Finally, for water analysis a simple and reliable method for U analysis is presented using total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (TXRF) that can be applied for on-site analysis in situations of accidental uranium contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
Volume62
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

Fingerprint

Uranium mines
Uranium
environmental monitoring
uranium
Electron probe microanalysis
electron probes
X rays
microanalysis
Monitoring
Tailings
Radioisotopes
x rays
radioactive isotopes
Actinoid Series Elements
Uranium deposits
Water analysis
Actinides
Sewage sludge
Hungary
fluorescence

Keywords

  • EPMA
  • Micro-XRF
  • Mine tailing
  • TXRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

Cite this

Analytical performance of different X-ray spectroscopic techniques for the environmental monitoring of the recultivated uranium mine site. / Alsecz, A.; Osán, J.; Kurunczi, S.; Alföldy, B.; Várhegyi, A.; Török, S.

In: Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy, Vol. 62, No. 8, 08.2007, p. 769-776.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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