Validation of 226Ra and 228Ra Measurements in Water Samples Using Gamma Spectrometric Analysis


Radium isotopes can be analyzed by different analytical methods based on gamma spectrometric measurements or alpha spectrometry. An improved method was developed to determine radium isotopes from water using gamma spectrometry after radiochemical separation. The Radium was selectively extracted from acidified samples using co-precipitation procedure with iron hydroxide and followed by precipitation of radium as radium sulphate Ba(Ra)SO4. The precipitate Ba(Ra)SO4 was filtered through the Millipore filter paper, dried and weighed to calculate chemical yield. 226Ra and 228Ra activities were measured using low-background gamma spectrometry in water samples. Radium was pre-concentrated from environmental samples by co-precipitation with BaSO4. The amounts of 226Ra and 228Ra on the sample were obtained by gamma-ray spectrometry for the 351 keVγ-ray from 214Pb and for the 911 keV γ-ray from 228Ac, both in radioactive equilibrium with precursors, respectively. The accuracy, selectivity, traceability, applicability and Minimum Detectable Activity (MDA) of the technique were discussed. Also, the effect of physical and chemical characteristics of the water samples such as TDS, pH, soluble species, sulphate and bicarbonate that effect on the radium determination were taking into consideration. The method has been validated with a certified reference material supplied by the International Atomic Energy Agency and reliable results were obtained. The radiochemical yields for radium were 70% - 90% and recovery was 97% and 80% for 226Ra and 228Ra, respectively.

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H. Diab and W. Abdellah, "Validation of 226Ra and 228Ra Measurements in Water Samples Using Gamma Spectrometric Analysis," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 8A, 2013, pp. 53-57. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.58A008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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