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Article

Applications of PERALS-Alpha Spectrometry for the Investigation of Radionuclides in Water Samples

1
Alpweg 8, 4132 Muttenz, Switzerland
2
State-Laboratory of Basel-City, Kannenfeldstrasse 2, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Caridi
Materials 2021, 14(14), 3787; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143787
Received: 30 May 2021 / Revised: 29 June 2021 / Accepted: 30 June 2021 / Published: 6 July 2021
In this paper, experiences of the last 20 years with the PERALS-technique are described. PERALS stands for photo electron-rejecting alpha liquid scintillation. This liquid scintillation technique was developed by Jack McDowell in the 1970s and is a powerful technique for the analyses of many natural alpha nuclides and also the beta nuclide 90Sr. The principle is based on a selective extraction of the radionuclide from the water phase by means of a complexing or ion pair reagent. The extractant contains also a cocktail suitable for scintillation counting. Therefore, the extract can be analyzed directly after the extraction step. After removing quenchers, such as oxygen, and the proper setting of a pulse shape discriminator, alpha pulses can be counted with a photomultiplier. This paper describes the development of robust analysis schemes for the determination of traces of polonium, thorium, uranium and other actinides in water samples (groundwater, rain water, river water, drinking water, mineral water, sea water). For radon and radium, the enrichment in the extract is poor. Therefore, PERALS methods are not suitable for trace analyses of these analytes. In addition, the extraction of the beta-emitter 90Sr with a PERALS cocktail is discussed, even though its beta spectrum is not analyzed with a PERALS counter. Results from the survey of drinking water and mineral water in Switzerland are presented for every radio element. View Full-Text
Keywords: PERALS; alpha spectrometry; polonium; radon; radium; radiostrontium; thorium; uranium; actinides PERALS; alpha spectrometry; polonium; radon; radium; radiostrontium; thorium; uranium; actinides
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zehringer, M.; Kammerer, F.; Pregler, A. Applications of PERALS-Alpha Spectrometry for the Investigation of Radionuclides in Water Samples. Materials 2021, 14, 3787. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143787

AMA Style

Zehringer M, Kammerer F, Pregler A. Applications of PERALS-Alpha Spectrometry for the Investigation of Radionuclides in Water Samples. Materials. 2021; 14(14):3787. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143787

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zehringer, Markus, Franziska Kammerer, and Anja Pregler. 2021. "Applications of PERALS-Alpha Spectrometry for the Investigation of Radionuclides in Water Samples" Materials 14, no. 14: 3787. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143787

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