Investigating Uranium Concentrations in Groundwaters in the State of Idaho Using Kinetic Phosphorescence Analysis and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

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Abstract

The determination of uranium concentrations in natural water samples is of great interest due to the environmental consequences of this radionuclide. In this study, 380 groundwater samples from various locations within the state of Idaho were analyzed using two different techniques. The first method was Kinetic Phosphorescence Analysis (KPA), which gives the total uranium concentrations in water samples. The second analysis method was inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP- MS). This method determines the total uranium concentration as well as the separate isotope concentrations of uranium. The 235U/238U isotopic ratio was also measured for each sample to confirm that there was no depleted or enriched uranium present. The results were compared and mapped separately from each other. The study also found that in some areas of the state, natural uranium concentrations are relatively high.

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