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Determination of Uranium in Solution Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

Volume 41, Number 6 (Aug. 1987) Page 1042-1048

Wachter, Joseph R.; Cremers, David A.

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy was used to determine uranium in solution for possible application to process control in nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities. Pulses from a Nd: YAG laser were focused on the surfaces of the liquids in order to generate the sparks. The spark light was spectrally resolved and detected with the use of a time-gated photodiode array. The detection limit for uranium in 4 molar nitric acid was 0.1 g/L. Measurement precisions were 1-2% for a 4.2-g/L solution with the use of 1600 laser sparks, corresponding to a measurement time of about three minutes. A calibration curve was prepared that spanned uranium concentrations from 0.1 to 300 g/L. The effects of some experimental parameters on the analysis are discussed.