Nuclear Technology / Volume 189 / Number 3 / March 2015 / Pages 301-311
Technical Paper / Radioisotopes / dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT14-5
Historical nuclear fuel cycle process sampling techniques required sample volumes ranging in the tens of milliliters. The radiation levels experienced by analytical personnel and equipment, in addition to the waste volumes generated from analysis of these samples, have been significant. These sample volumes also impacted accountability inventories of required analytes during process operations. To mitigate radiation dose and other issues associated with the historically larger sample volumes, a microcapillary sample chip was chosen for further investigation. The ability to obtain microliter sample volumes coupled with a remote automated means of sample loading, tracking, and transporting to the analytical instrument would greatly improve analytical efficiency while reducing both personnel exposure and radioactive waste volumes. Sample chip testing was completed to determine the accuracy, repeatability, and issues associated with the use of microfluidic sample chips used to supply microliter sample volumes of lanthanide analytes dissolved in nitric acid for introduction to an analytical instrument for elemental analysis.