Investigating Uranium Concentrations in Idaho Using Kinetic Phosphorescence Analysis and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Levan Tkavadze
Department of Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics
Idaho State University

Determination of uranium concentrations in natural water samples are of a great interest due to the well documented human health effects and environmental consequences of this radionuclide. In this study 380 samples from around 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 a water sample. 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 results were compared and mapped on two different maps. The study suggested that some areas of the state have relatively high natural uranium concentrations. Furthermore, analyzing uranium isotopic ratios of the samples showed that there is no enriched or depleted uranium in the state of Idaho outside Idaho National Laboratory.